United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
N. JOHNSON, JR., UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
plaintiff, a former inmate of the Blount County Jail,
filed a pro se complaint on the forms normally
utilized by prisoners seeking damages or injunctive relief
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The complaint includes an
allegation that the plaintiff was not being properly treated
for an aortic aneurysm and uncontrolled hypertension while in
the Blount County Jail. (Doc. 1).
October 1, 2019, the plaintiff submitted a pleading titled
“Motion for Emergency and Immediate Intervention,
” (doc. 5), in which he alleged his aneurysm had grown
to 5.0 centimeters and that he was “in need of
immediate repair by open heart surgery.” (Id.
at 2). He stated that the jail medical staff's inability
to control his hypertension was causing the aneurysm to grow
larger, which could cause a rupture and death. (Id.
at 2). The court construed the plaintiff's pleading as a
motion for preliminary injunction and ordered the defendants
identified as Sheriff Mark Moon, Nurse Amber Brown, Nurse
Debbie Rudy, and Dr. Frantczy Ceneus, as well as the Blount
County Jail's Chief Medical Officer, to provide the court
with a preliminary special report addressing the
plaintiff's claims. (Doc. 6).
receipt of the defendants' preliminary special report,
the undersigned entered a report recommending the
plaintiff's motion be denied. (Doc. 16). Based upon the
testimony of Dr. Ceneus, the undersigned concluded that the
record fails to establish evidence of an immediate need for
the court's intervention and no evidence indicating the
danger of irreparable injury in the absence thereof.
(Id. at 6).
October 15, 2019, the plaintiff filed a pleading titled
“Motion for Emergency and Immediate Intervention Part
2.” (Doc. 13). The plaintiff complained that the Blount
County Jail had no overnight healthcare, which he contended
placed him in danger during nighttime episodes of high blood
pressure that could result in a rupture of his aortic
aneurysm. (Id. at 1). He also contended the jail
never followed up on the emergency department physician's
recommendation that he have a repeat CT scan. (Id.
at 2 & 13). He asked this court to issue an order
requiring the Blount County Jail to release him on
“medical bond.” (Id. at 3).
October 18, 2019, the undersigned entered a report
recommending this second motion be denied. (Doc. 19). The
undersigned concluded that the additional allegations
submitted in the plaintiff's second motion for emergency
intervention did nothing to demonstrate an immediate need for
the court's intervention.
October 21, 2019, the plaintiff submitted a third
Motion for Emergency Intervention. (Doc.
20). In this motion, the plaintiff contended the
defendants filed “false and fraudulent papers and
claims” with the court. He contended the defendants
submitted this “falsified paperwork to hide their
inadequate, neglectful medical care.” (Id. at
4). The undersigned has not filed a report and recommendation
on this latest motion.
pending before the court is the defendants' motion to
dismiss the above motions. (Doc. 25). The defendants argue
that the plaintiff's transfer to the St. Clair County
Jail renders his motions for the court's intervention as
class certification, an inmate's claim for injunctive and
declaratory relief in a section 1983 action fails to present
a case or controversy once the inmate has been
transferred.” Wahl v. McIver, 773 F.2d 1169,
1173 (11th Cir. 1985) (citing Dudley v. Stewart, 724
F.2d 1493, 1494-95 (11th Cir. 1984)). In other words,
“[p]ast exposure to illegal conduct does not in itself
show a pending case or controversy regarding injunctive
relief if unaccompanied by any continuing, present injury or
real and immediate threat of repeated injury.”
Dudley, 724 F.2d at 1494 (citing O'Shea v.
Littleton, 414 U.S. 488 (1974)).
III of the United States Constitution limits the jurisdiction
of the federal courts to actual “cases” and
“controversies”. U.S. Const. art. III, § 2,
cl. 1. See Florida Right to Life, Inc. v. Lamar, 273
F.3d 1318, 1322 (11th Cir. 2001). “The ‘case or
controversy' requirement imposes justiciability
limitations on federal courts, and these limitations include
mootness.” Nyaga v. Ashcroft, 323 F.3d 906,
913 (11th Cir. 2003). Mootness is a “threshold
inquiry” for the court in every case and is a
jurisdictional issue. (Id.). That is, “an
action that is moot cannot be characterized as an active
‘case or controversy'” and dismissal is
therefore mandated under those circumstances. De La Teja
v. United States, 321 F.3d 1357, 1361-62 (11th Cir.
2003) (quoting Najjar v. Ashcroft 273 F.3d 1330, 1335 (11th
Cir. 2001). Once a case becomes moot, any decision on the
merits would constitute an impermissible advisory opinion.
Nyaga, 323 F.3d. at 913.
is “moot” when the court can no longer provide
“meaningful relief” to the plaintiff.
Nyaga, 323 F.3d. at 913. Even where events occur
subsequent to the filing of the complaint which deprive the
court of its ability to render meaningful relief to the
plaintiff, the case is moot and must be dismissed.
Florida Public Interest Research Group Citizens Lobby,
Inc. v. Environmental Protection Agency, 386 F.3d 1070,
1086 (11th Cir. 2004); Troiano v. Supervisor of Elections
in Palm Beach County, Florida, 382 F.3d 1276 (11th Cir.
2004). In the present case, the plaintiff has been released
from the Blount County Jail and therefore his motions seeking
preliminary injunctive relief (doc's 5, 13, & 20)
directed at the jail staff have become moot. Under the
circumstances, this court can no longer render meaningful
to the foregoing, the magistrate judge recommends that the
defendants' motion (doc. 25) to dismiss as moot the
plaintiff's motions for emergency relief be
GRANTED and that the plaintiff's motions
for emergency preliminary injunctive relief (doc's 5, 13,
& 20) be DENIED.