United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Michael Dallas (“Dallas”), who was formerly
housed at the Federal Correctional Institution in Jesup,
Georgia, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1.) Respondent filed a Motion
to Dismiss, (doc. 8.) For the reasons which follow, I
RECOMMEND that the Court
GRANT Respondent's Motion to Dismiss,
DISMISS as moot Dallas' Petition,
DIRECT the Clerk of Court to
CLOSE this case and enter the appropriate
judgment of dismissal, and DENY Dallas
in forma pauperis status on appeal.
filed his Petition on February 1, 2018. (Doc. 1.) In his
Petition, Dallas asserts the Bureau of Prisons
(“BOP”) failed to give him credit against his
federal sentence for nearly nine months' time, from
November 19, 2004, through August 17, 2005. (Id. at
p. 6.) Dallas contends he should have been released from the
BOP's custody on January 18, 2018. (Id. at pp.
Dallas paid the requisite filing fee, this Court directed
service of Dallas' Petition upon Respondent on February
28, 2018. (Doc. 3.) However, this mailing was returned to the
Court as undeliverable with the notation “Attempted-Not
Known, Unable to Forward”. (Doc. 4, p. 1.) Thus, the
Court must determine whether Dallas' release from BOP
custody renders his Petition moot, whether Respondent's
Motion to Dismiss should be granted, and whether his Petition
should be dismissed.
Whether Dallas' 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) (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 omitted). Questions of
justiciability are not answered “simply by looking to
the state of affairs at the time the suit was filed. Rather,
the Supreme Court has made clear that the controversy
‘must be extant at all stages of review, not merely at
the time the complaint is filed.'” Christian
Coal. of Fla., Inc. v. United States, 662 F.3d 1182,
1189-90 (11th Cir. 2011) (quoting Preiser v.
Newkirk, 422 U.S. 395, 401 (1975)).
has been released from confinement from the BOP's
custody. As Dallas requests his release from his continued
detention in his Petition, and it appears he has been
released from the BOP's custody, there is no longer a
“live controversy” over which the Court can give
meaningful relief. Friends of Everglades, 570 F.3d
at 1216. Accordingly, the Court should GRANT
Respondent's Motion to Dismiss and DISMISS as
moot Dallas' Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus.
Leave to Appeal in Forma Pauperis
Court should also deny Dallas leave to appeal in forma
pauperis. Though Dallas has, of course, not yet filed a
notice of appeal, it would be appropriate to address these
issues in the Court's order of dismissal. Fed. R. App. P.
24(a)(3) (trial court may certify that appeal of party
proceeding in forma pauperis is not taken in good
faith “before or after the notice of appeal is
filed”). An appeal cannot be taken in forma
pauperis if the trial court certifies that the appeal is
not taken in good faith. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3); Fed. R.
App. P. 24(a)(3). Good faith in this context must be judged
by an objective standard. Busch v. County of
Volusia, 189 F.R.D. 687, 691 (M.D. Fla. 1999). A party
does not proceed in good faith when he seeks to advance a
frivolous claim or argument. See Coppedge v. United
States, 369 U.S. 438, 445 (1962). A claim or argument is
frivolous when it appears the factual allegations are clearly
baseless or the legal theories are indisputably meritless.
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989);
Carroll v. Gross, 984 F.2d 392, 393 (11th Cir.
1993). Stated another way, an in forma pauperis
action is frivolous, and thus, not brought in good faith, if
it is “without arguable merit either in law or
fact.” Napier v. Preslicka, 314 F.3d 528, 531
(11th Cir. 2002); see also Brown v. United States,
Nos. 407CV085, 403CR001, 2009 WL 307872, at *1-2 (S.D. Ga.
Feb. 9, 2009).
the above analysis of Dallas' Petition and
Respondent's Motion to Dismiss, there are no
non-frivolous issues to raise on appeal, and an appeal would
not be taken in good faith. Thus, the Court should
DENY Dallas in forma pauperis
status on appeal.
on the foregoing, I RECOMMEND that the Court
GRANT Respondent's Motion to Dismiss,
(doc. 8), DISMISS as moot Dallas'
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, filed pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241, (doc. 1), DIRECT the
Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case and enter