United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Waycross Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BENJAMIN W. CHEESBRO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Ngono Marie (“Marie”), who is housed at the
Folkston Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(“ICE”) Processing Center in Folkston, Georgia,
filed a 28 U.S.C. § 2241 Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus while he was housed at D. Ray James Correctional
Facility in Folkston, Georgia. Doc. 1. Marie also filed a
Motion for Award of Additional Credit. Doc. 7. Respondent
filed a Motion to Dismiss, and Marie filed a Response. Docs.
10, 12. Respondent filed a Reply. Doc. 13. For the reasons
which follow, I RECOMMEND the Court GRANT Respondent's
Motion to Dismiss, DENY as moot Marie's Petition, and
DENY as moot Marie's Motion. I also RECOMMEND the Court
DIRECT the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case and enter the
appropriate judgment of dismissal and DENY Marie in forma
pauperis status on appeal.
filed his Petition on March 11, 2019. Doc. 1. In his
Petition, Marie contends 54 days' good conduct time was
“unlawfully forfeited” stemming from disciplinary
proceedings while he was housed at the Metropolitan Detention
Center in Brooklyn, New York. Id. at 1, 3. As a
result, Marie asserts he has a projected release date of
November 28, 2019, which exceeds his statutory satisfaction
date of October 12, 2019. Id. at 2. Marie asks that
the 54 days of forfeited time be restored and that this Court
declare his filing a habeas petition does not foreclose his
civil claims for personal injury. Id. at 4. Marie
also filed a Motion requesting to have an additional seven
days' good conduct time credited against his federal
sentence for each year he was sentenced, for a total of 28
additional days, under the First Step Act. Doc. 7.
filed a Motion to Dismiss, claiming the Bureau of Prisons
(“BOP”) has expunged Marie's record and
restored Marie's good conduct time, resulting in his
release date being scheduled for October 12, 2019. Doc. 10 at
1; Doc. 10-1 at 3, 21. Thus, Respondent asserts Marie's
Petition is moot and should be dismissed because the BOP has
granted his requested relief. Doc. 1 at 2-3. In addition,
Respondent contends Marie's Motion requesting relief
under the First Step Act is unrelated to the contentions
raised in his Petition, and the First Step Act provision
under which Marie seeks relief was not yet effective at the
time he filed his Motion. Even if this provision were
effective at the time, Respondent maintains Marie's
Motion would be subject to dismissal as unexhausted.
Id. at 4-5.
Response to the Motion to Dismiss, Marie reiterates his
requested relief. Doc. 12 at 2-4. However, Marie avers he
received partial relief, as he only had 47 days' good
conduct time restored, and a real controversy remains.
Id. at 5, 6. Marie asserts that his release date
would have been October 4, 2019 had he received credit for
all 54 days. Id. at 6. What is more, Marie stated he
would have been released on September 14, 2019 under the
First Step Act. Id. at 7.
states the BOP restored 54 days' good conduct time to
Marie, and the BOP correctly calculated his projected release
date. Doc. 13 at 1. However, Respondent notes there is a
difference between time actually served and the length of
sentence, which results in proration. This proration,
Respondent submits, amounts to 47 days Marie will actually
serve and a change in his projected release date of 47 days.
Id. at 2. In addition, Respondent contends
Marie's projected release date has been adjusted further
since Respondent filed his Motion to Dismiss, and Marie's
projected release date was set for September 20,
Whether Marie'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). Regarding 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
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)).
expunged the challenged incident reports and restored all 54
days of Marie's lost good conduct time. Doc. 10-1 at 3,
22; Doc. 13 at 1-2. In addition, Marie received benefit of
the First Step Act's additional seven days' credit,
which advanced his scheduled release date from October 12,
2019 to September 20, 2019. Doc. 13 at 2; Doc. 13-1 at 2. As
Marie only requests the reinstatement of lost good-conduct
time and an additional seven days' credit under the First
Step Act, which has occurred, 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 DENY as
moot Marie's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
and his Motion for Additional Credit.
Leave to Appeal in Forma Pauperis
Court should also deny Marie leave to appeal in forma
pauperis. Though Marie has not yet filed a notice of
appeal, it would be appropriate to address that issue in the
Court's order of dismissal. See Fed. R. App. P.
24(a)(3) (trial court may certify that appeal is not taken in
good faith “before or after the notice of appeal is
appeal cannot be taken in forma pauperis if the
trial court certifies, either before or after the notice of
appeal is filed, 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). An in
forma pauperis action is frivolous and not brought in
good faith if ...