United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division
RODNEY L. REESE, # 297555, Petitioner,
WALTER MYERS, et al., Respondents.
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
STEPHEN M. DOYLE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
case is before the court on a petition for writ of habeas
corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed on September 29,
2016, by Rodney L. Reese. Doc. 1. Reese seeks early release
from his six-year sentence for electronic solicitation of a
child. According to Reese, Ala. Code § 15-22-26.2, a
statute enacted after he was sentenced, mandates his release
from prison prior to the December 24, 2016 expiration of his
sentence calculated by the Alabama Department of Corrections
(“ADOC”). For the reasons that follow, the
Magistrate Judge finds that Reese's petition should be
dismissed without an evidentiary hearing.
State Court Proceedings
October 7, 2014, Reese pleaded guilty in the Houston County
Circuit Court to electronic solicitation of a child, in
violation of § 13A-6-122, Ala. Code 1975. Doc. 8-2. On that
same date, Reese was sentenced to six years in prison. Doc.
8-3. Reese took no direct appeal, and he filed no
post-conviction petition challenging his conviction and
sentence under Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal
19, 2016, Reese filed a motion with the trial court arguing
he was entitled to early release under 2015 Alabama
legislation, Senate Bill 67, now codified at Ala. Code §
15-22-26.2. Doc. 8-8. The trial court denied that
motion on July 20, 2016. Doc. 8-9.
filed this § 2254 petition on September 29, 2016,
asserting that under Ala. Code § 15-22-26.2, he is
entitled to be released from ADOC custody prior to his
release date of December 24, 2016, calculated by ADOC. Doc. 1
at 5 & 15. While Reese's § 2254 petition was
pending in this court, Reese completed his sentence and was
released from ADOC custody on December 24, 2016.
“[A] case is moot when it no longer presents a live
controversy with respect to which the court can give
meaningful relief.” Soliman v. U.S. ex rel.
INS, 296 F.3d 1237, 1242 (11th Cir. 2002). A case that
is moot must be dismissed because mootness is jurisdictional.
Biester v. Lanier, 249 Fed.Appx. 782, 783 (11th Cir.
release from prison effectively provided him with the relief
he requests in his petition. This court can no longer give
him meaningful relief on his assertion that he is entitled to
release under Ala. Code § 15-22-26.2. Because no
alleged injury can be redressed by a favorable decision, this
case is moot. See, e.g., Munoz v. Rowland, 104 F.3d
1096, 1097-98 (9th Cir. 1997) (“Because Munoz has been
released . . ., we can no longer provide him the primary
relief sought in his habeas corpus petition.”); see
also Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7 (1998).
on the foregoing, the court finds that dismissal of this
petition as moot is appropriate, as reaching the merits of
any claims presented would serve no purpose.