United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
WALLACE CAPEL, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
U.S.C. § 1983 action is pending before the court on a
complaint filed by Bobby Ginns challenging his classification
as a restricted offender. Doc. 1 at 3. Ginns seeks only
injunctive relief in the form of removal restrictive offender
status. Doc. 1 at 4. The defendants have not yet filed a
response to the complaint.
March 22, 2018, the plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss this
case without prejudice. Doc. 17. In this motion, the
plaintiff advises that he “has recently been made aware
that the ‘R' suffix has been removed from the
Plaintiff's files. The ‘R' suffix was the whole
reason for the filing of this Complaint. The ‘R'
suffice removal was done after the Lawsuit had been
filed.” Doc. 17 at 1 (paragraph numbering omitted).
do not sit to render advisory opinions. North Carolina v.
Rice, 404 U.S. 244, 246 (1971). An actual controversy
must exist at all times during the pendency of a case.
Steffel v. Thompson, 415 U.S. 452, 459 n.10 (1974).
In cases where the only relief requested is injunctive in
nature, events which occur subsequent to the filing of the
complaint can render the matter moot. National Black
Police Assoc. v. District of Columbia, 108 F.3d 346, 350
(D.C. Cir. 1997) (change in statute); Williams v.
Griffin, 952 F.2d 820, 823 (4th Cir. 1991) (transfer of
prisoner); Tawwab v. Metz 554 F.2d 22, 23 (2nd Cir.
1977) (change in policy).
III of the United States Constitution confers jurisdiction on
the district courts to hear and determine “cases”
or “controversies.” The mootness doctrine derives
directly from the case or controversy limitation because
“an action that is moot cannot be characterized as an
active case or controversy.” Adler v. Duval County
Sch. Bd., 112 F.3d 1475, 1477 (11th Cir. 1997).
“Put another way, ‘a case is moot when it no
longer presents a live controversy with respect to which the
court can give meaningful relief.'” Florida
Ass'n of Rehab. Facilities, Inc. v. Florida Dep't of
Health and Rehab. Servs., 225 F.3d 1208, 1216-17 (11th
Cir. 2000) (quoting Ethredge v. Hail, 996 F.2d 1173,
1175 (11th Cir. 1993)); Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83,
95 (1968) (“Where the question sought to be adjudicated
has been mooted by developments subsequent to filing of the
complaint, no justiciable controversy is presented.”);
Saladin v. Milledgeville, 812 F.2d 687, 693 (11th
Cir. 1987) (“A case is moot when the issues presented
are no longer ‘live' or the parties lack a legally
cognizable interest in the outcome of the litigation, such as
where . . . interim relief or events have eradicated the
effects of the alleged violation.”); Powell v.
McCormack, 395 U.S. 486, 496 (1969) (“[A] case is
moot when the issues presented are no longer ‘live'
or the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the
actions occur subsequent to the filing of a lawsuit whereby
the plaintiff obtains the requested relief, then the case is
moot and must be dismissed. See, e.g., Hall v.
Beals, 396 U.S. 45, 48 (1969) (per curiam). In such
instances, dismissal is required because mootness is
jurisdictional. See Florida Ass'n of Rehab.
Facilities, 225 F.3d at 1227 n.14 (“The question
of mootness is . . . one which a federal court must resolve
before it assumes jurisdiction [over the merits of a
complaint].”). “Any decision on the merits of a
moot case or issue would be an impermissible advisory
opinion.” Id. at 1217 (citing Hall,
396 U.S.at 48, 90 S.Ct. at 201-02.
advises he has received the relief requested from this court
in that the defendants have determined he is not subject to
classification as a restricted offender and have removed him
from restricted offender status. Doc. 17 at 1. The court
finds that there is no reasonable expectation or demonstrated
probability that Ginns will return to this custody
classification during his present term of confinement. Under
the circumstances of this case, the request for injunctive
relief, the only relief sought by Ginns, is moot. County
of Los Angeles v. Davis, 440 U.S. 625, 631 (1979);
Murphy v. Hunt, 455 U.S. 478, 481-82 (1982);
Cotterall v. Paul, 755 F.2d 777, 780 (11th Cir.
1985) (holding that past exposure to potential illegal
conduct does not in and of itself show a pending case or
controversy regarding injunctive relief if unaccompanied by
any continuing present injury or real and immediate threat of
the circumstances of this case, the court concludes that the
motion to dismiss filed by Ginns is due to be granted and
this case dismissed without prejudice as moot. McCants v.
Ford Motor Company, Inc., 781 F.2d 855 (11th Cir. 1986)
(holding that dismissal without prejudice at the insistence
of the plaintiff pursuant to Rule 41(a)(2) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure is committed to the sound discretion
of this court and, absent some plain legal prejudice to the
defendants, denial of the dismissal constitutes an abuse of
this court's discretion).
it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that:
plaintiff's motion to ...