United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF
M. LAWSON United States District Judge.
Duane Letroy Berry filed a pro se habeas corpus
petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 on June 2, 2016, when he
was detained by the United States Marshal and the Sanilac
County Sheriff in Sandusky, Michigan. Berry was in custody
there at the time under this Court's order directing the
United States Attorney General to take custody of him for a
psychiatric or psychological examination to determine his
competency to stand trial. The order stated that the
detention should not exceed thirty days. See Pet.
for Writ of Habeas Corpus, ECF No. 1; see also United
States v. Berry, No. 2:15-cr-20743, Order Granting Oral
Mot. for Competency Examination, etc., ECF No. 19
(E.D. Mich. Dec. 23, 2015). Berry contends that the Sanilac
County Sheriff held him in custody for more than 120 days in
violation of this Court's order in his criminal case. He
sought immediate release from his allegedly unlawful
no longer is in the custody of the Sanilac County Sheriff or
the United States Marshal. He presently is in the custody of
the United States Bureau of Prisons at the Butner Medical
Center in Butner, North Carolina under an order of commitment
for treatment. He has been found incompetent to stand trial.
notice to the Court filed on August 16, 2016, Berry alleged
that he was an agent of the Executive Branch of the United
States Government. He sought $1.25 billion dollars in damages
for his unlawful incarceration in the Sanilac County Jail,
and he demanded that the Court order his release within
seventy-two hours of receipt of his notice. See
Judicial Notice, ECF No. 8. In another “judicial
notice, ” the petitioner sought a transfer of assets
from 12 federal reserve banks to him as compensation for his
alleged unlawful incarceration. See Judicial Notice,
ECF No. 9.
is not entitled to the relief he seeks for at least three
reasons. First, the request for money damages is not
cognizable in this habeas action because the traditional
purpose of habeas corpus is an attack on the fact or length
of a prisoner's confinement. Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 494 (1973). Habeas corpus is
not an appropriate or available federal remedy for a damages
although Berry's request for release from custody is
appropriate in a habeas corpus petition,
[t]he Constitution's case or controversy requirement
confines the jurisdiction of the courts to “real and
substantial controvers[ies] admitting of specific relief
through a decree of a conclusive character . . . .”
North Carolina v. Rice, 404 U.S. 244, 246 (1971)
(citation omitted). Accordingly, this Court lacks
jurisdiction to consider any case or issue that has
“lost its character as a present, live
controversy” and thereby becomes moot. Hall v.
Beals, 396 U.S. 45, 48 (1969). Because the exercise of
judicial power under Article III of the Constitution depends
on the existence of a live case or controversy, mootness is a
jurisdictional question. Lewis v. Cont'l Bank
Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477 (1990). . . .
“‘Simply stated, a case is moot when the issues
presented are no longer ‘live' or the parties lack
a legally cognizable interest in the outcome.'”
Int'l Union v. Dana Corp., 697 F.2d 718, 720-21
(6th Cir. 1983) (quoting Powell v. McCormack, 395
U.S. 486, 496 (1969)). “This case-or-controversy
requirement subsists through all stages of federal judicial
proceedings, trial and appellate . . . . The parties must
continue to have a ‘personal stake in the outcome'
of the lawsuit.” Lewis, 494 U.S. at 477-78. If
“events occur during the pendency of a litigation which
render the court unable to grant the requested relief,
” the case becomes moot and thus falls outside [the
Court's] jurisdiction. Abela v. Martin, 309 F.3d
338, 343 (6th Cir. 2002) (internal citations and quotation
Demis v. Sniezek, 558 F.3d 508, 512 (6th Cir. 2009).
was confined in the Sanilac County Jail when he filed his
habeas petition, but records maintained by the Federal Bureau
of Prisons on its official website indicate that Berry
currently is located at the Butner Federal Medical Center in
Butner, North Carolina. See inmate locator at www.
bop.gov. Thus, Berry's detention in the Sanilac County
Jail is no longer a live controversy; it is a moot issue. The
fact that the dispute was alive when Berry filed his habeas
petition is not enough; a petitioner must continue to have an
actual injury that is capable of being redressed by a
favorable judicial decision. Demis, 558 F.3d at 512
(quoting Brock v. United States Dep't of
Justice, 256 F. App'x 748, 750 (6th Cir. 2007)).
Berry presently has no actual injury that the Court can cure,
because he sought release from the Sanilac County Jail, and
he is no longer detained there.
Berry's claim that he continues to be detained unlawfully
lacks merit because the Court declared him incompetent to
stand trial on August 25, 2016, following a hearing in his
criminal case. And on August 30, 2016, the Court entered a
valid order committing Berry to the custody of the Attorney
General for treatment in a suitable facility under 18 U.S.C.
§ 424(d). See Berry, No. 2:15-cr-20743, ECF No.
45. Berry is confined under a valid order of the Court.
it is ORDERED that the petition for a writ
of habeas corpus is ...