United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Waycross Division
ONESSIMUS M. GOVEREH, Petitioner,
TRACY JOHNS, Warden, Respondent.
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Onessimus M. Govereh (“Govereh”), who was
formerly incarcerated at D. Ray James Correctional Facility
in Folkston, Georgia, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1.) Govereh
filed a number of pleadings during this action including a
Motion to Compel, (doc. 2); a Motion for a Preliminary
Injunction, (doc. 5); a Motion to Change Venue, (doc. 8); and
an Amended Motion for Preliminary Injunction, (doc. 16).
Respondent filed a Response to Govereh's Petition and his
various Motions on August 18, 2017. (Doc. 18.) On September
25, 2017, Govereh filed a Notice of Change of Address
notifying the Court that he is now located in a residential
reentry center in Del Valle, Texas. (Doc. 19.) As explained
below, Govereh's transfer from D. Ray James moots the
claims he asserts in this action. Thus, I
RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS as
moot Govereh's Petition, DISMISS as
moot all pending motions, DIRECT
the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case, and
DENY Govereh in forma pauperis
status on appeal.
Petition, Govereh challenged the propriety of his
incarceration at D. Ray James. (Doc. 1.) Specifically,
Govereh raised five questions in his Petition:
1. Whether the [Bureau of Prisons] can lawfully subdelegated
[sic] its statutory responsibilities and decision making
authority to a private actor, particularly a private actor
like [D. Ray James], whose objectivity can be reasonably
questioned on conflict of interest grounds?
2. Whether [D. Ray James] violated 18 U.S.C.§ 3621(b) in
refusing to even consider a post-sentencing judicial
recommendation issued by the sentencing judge recommending
that petitioner serve 150-180 days or the remainder of his
sentence in a [residential reentry center]?
3. Whether [D. Ray James] violated 18 U.S.C.§ 3624(c) in
creating a policy and practice of limiting referrals for
pre-release community confinement to 90 days and refusing to
consider any federal prisoner for the full one year mandated
4. Whether a 47 day placement in a [residential reentry
center] is of sufficient duration to provide the greatest
likelihood of successful reintegration into the community as
required under 28 C.F.R.§ 570.22?
5. Whether the plain and unambiguous regulations allow
someone other than [Bureau of Prisons] staff to issue
incident reports and impose disciplinary sanctions on federal
prisoners housed at private prisons like [D. Ray James]?
(Id. at p. 8.)
filed a response to Govereh's Petition and argued that
the Court should deny his Petition due to his failure to
exhaust his available administrative remedies. (Doc. 18, pp.
5- 7.) Respondent also contended that the Court lacked
jurisdiction to hear Govereh's claims regarding placement
in a residential reentry center and that the Federal Bureau
of Prisons has the authority to house prisoners in contract
facilities like D. Ray James and permit those facilities to
conduct disciplinary proceedings. (Id. at pp. 8-12.)
Govereh has not filed a Reply to Respondent's Response
but has filed the aforementioned Notice of Change of Address
evidencing his transfer from D. Ray James.
Whether Govereh's Petition is Moot
III of the Constitution “extends the jurisdiction of
federal courts to only “‘Cases' and
‘Controversies.'” Strickland v.
Alexander, 772 F.3d 876, 882 (11th Cir. 2014). This
“case-or-controversy restriction imposes” what is
“generally referred to as ‘justiciability'
limitations.” Id. There are “three
strands of justiciability doctrine-standing, ripeness, and
mootness-that go to the heart of the Article III case or
controversy requirement.” Harrell v. The Fla.
Bar, 608 F.3d 1241, 1247 (11th Cir. 2010) (internal
quotation marks and alterations omitted). With regard to the
mootness strand, the United States Supreme Court has made
clear that “a federal court has no authority ‘to
give opinions upon moot questions or abstract propositions,
or to declare principles or rules of law which cannot affect
the matter in issue in the case before it.'”
Church of Scientology of Cal. v. United States, 506
U.S. 9, 12 (1992) (internal citation omitted). Accordingly,
“[a]n issue is moot when it no longer presents a live
controversy with respect to which the court can give
meaningful relief.” Friends of Everglades v. S.
Fla. Water Mgmt. Dist., 570 F.3d 1210, 1216 (11th Cir.
2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). Questions of
justiciability are not answered “simply by looking to