Respondents have an opportunity to contend a habeas corpus claim. One way they might do this is through mootness. Learn more here.
The respondent, in its return, may assert that the claims in the habeas petition are moot because the habeas court can no longer grant practical relief to the petitioner. As a result, the petition should get dismissed pursuant to Practice Book §§ 23-22(1), 23-24(a)(1)(3), 23-29(1)(4)(5), 23-30(b), 23-34 and/or 23-37.
“Mootness…implicates subject matter jurisdiction, which imposes a duty on the [trial] court to dismiss a case if the court can no longer grant practical relief to the parties…Mootness presents a circumstance wherein the issue before the court resolved or had lost its significance because of a change in the condition of affairs between the parties…A case becomes moot when due to intervening circumstances a controversy between the parties no longer exists.” (internal quotation marks omitted; citation omitted) Paulino v. Commissioner , 155 Conn. App. 154, 160, cert. denied , 317 Conn. 912 (2015).
In addition, “A case is considered moot if [the trial] court cannot grant the appellant any practical relief through its disposition of the merits…” (internal quotation marks omitted; citation omitted) Id. at 161.
So, a claim of mootness gets overcome by demonstrating “(1) that there [is] an actual controversy between or among the parties to the dispute … (2) that the interests of the parties [are] adverse…(3) that the matter in controversy [is] capable of being adjudicated by judicial power…and (4) that the determination of the controversy will result in practical relief to the complainant…” Id.
So, with this framework in mind, if the respondent contends that the claims in the habeas petition are moot because the petitioner is not illegally confined, habeas counsel, in the reply, see Practice Book §§ 23-31 and 23-35(c), should deny the allegation if the petitioner was incarcerated or under the restraint of the judgment at the time the petition got filed. See supra A. HABEAS CORUS JURISPRUDENCE 2. Custody.
In addition, if the respondent contends that the habeas claims are moot because the petitioner got deported, see Paulino v. Commissioner, supra, 155 Conn. App. 154, and also see Quiroga v. Commissioner, 149 Conn. App. 168, 170-74, cert. denied, 311 Conn. 950 (2014) for a discussion on the implications of deportation.
So, generally speaking, for the petition to continue to present an actual controversy, there must exist some remaining collateral consequence of the judgment under attack that can get redressed by the litigation, such as the petitioner’s ability to reenter the United States, see Perez v. Greiner, 296 F.3d 123, 126 (2nd Cir. 2002), or reenter without restrictions on his or her liberty. Also See United States v. Rivas-Gonzalez, 384 F.3d 1034, 1042 (9th Cir. 2004); finally, see United States v. Lares-Meraz, 452 F.3d 352, 354-56 (5th Cir. 2006). See supra A. HABEAS CORUS JURISPRUDENCE 2. Custody.
Finally, if the respondent contends that the habeas claims are moot because they have already been decided, see infra T. RESPONDENT’S DEFENSES 5. Res Judicata & Collateral Estoppel.