United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
G. JAMES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is a Motion to Reopen [doc. 40] filed by pro se
plaintiff Andrew Hango. The motion relates to a petition for
writ of habeas corpus filed in this court under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 and granted on November 6, 2006.
is a native of Tanzania who entered this country as a
non-immigrant student in September 1997. Doc. 29, p. 1. On
September 4, 2001, the former INS issued a Notice to Appear,
stating that he was subject to deportation for failure to
maintain his status as a student. Id. In November
2003 the immigration court issued a warrant of
removal/deportation and Hango was taken into ICE custody.
Id. at 2-3. He was scheduled for deportation to
Tanzania via commercial airliner on May 12, 2004.
Id. However, he resisted boarding and the flight
attendant would not allow him to be boarded forcibly.
Id. at 3. The Tanzanian embassy then announced that
it would not issue travel documents for Hango due to his
marriage to an American citizen, though the United States
government maintained that this marriage did not change his
legal status or make him eligible to remain in the United
States. Id. at 3-7.
challenged his detention through, inter alia, a § 2241
petition in the Eastern District of Louisiana, which was
transferred here on December 20, 2005. Docs. 1, 5. This court
determined that Hango's detention violated the standards
set forth in Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001).
Docs. 29, 32. It granted the writ on November 6, 2006,
ordering that Hango be released from custody under
appropriate restrictions. Id. The government moved
for a new trial and the court denied the motion on January 9,
2007. Doc. 36. Hango now moves to have his § 2241
proceeding reopened, asserting that he has complied with the
terms of his release but was nevertheless arrested and
returned to ICE custody on March 6, 2019. Doc. 40. He is
currently detained at the Geauga County Safety Center in
Chardon, Ohio, and again challenges his detention under
Zadvydas, the Court held that it is presumptively
unconstitutional for an alien to be detained for more than
six months past the 90-day removal period following an order
of removal. 533 U.S. at 699-701. After expiration of this
period, an alien may seek release by showing “good
reason to believe that there is no significant likelihood of
removal in the foreseeable future.” Adefemi v.
Gonzales, 228 Fed. App'x 415 (5th Cir. 2007). As the
Supreme Court emphasized, this presumption “does not
mean that every alien not removed must be released after six
months. To the contrary, an alien may be held in confinement
until it has been determined that there is no significant
likelihood of removal in the reasonably foreseeable
future.” Zadvydas, 533 S.Ct. at 701. In
seeking relief under Zadvydas, the petitioner
“bears the initial burden of proof in showing that no
such likelihood of removal exists.” Andrade v.
Gonzales, 459 F.3d 538, 543 (5th Cir. 2006).
order of release in this case was based on a determination in
2006 that Hango's detention up to that time was
unreasonable and that there was no significant likelihood of
removal in the foreseeable future. It did not amount to a
permanent injunction against future detention. See, e.g.,
Hechavarria v. Salinas, 2018 WL 1938040, at *3 (S.D.
Tex. Mar. 13, 2018) (explaining limits of a § 2241 grant
in anticipating legality of future detention). Accordingly,
the 2006 order of release does not invalidate the
petitioner's current incarceration.
the district of incarceration has exclusive
jurisdiction over an inmate's § 2241 petition
challenging present physical confinement. Lee v.
Wetzel, 244 F.3d 370, 373-74 (5th Cir. 2001).
Jurisdiction vests when the petition is filed and is not
destroyed by the petitioner's subsequent transfer or by
his release while the petition is still pending. Griffin
v. Ebbert, 751 F.3d 288, 290-91 (5th Cir. 2014);
Port v. Heard, 764 F.2d 423, 425 (5th Cir. 1985).
However, Hango's § 2241 proceedings concluded in
this court and his motion to reopen represents a challenge to
incarceration in a new district, based on possible changes to
his likelihood of removal or violation of his terms of
release. Accordingly, this court is without jurisdiction to
determine Hango's present right to release. To challenge
his confinement, Hango should instead seek relief through a
new petition filed in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Ohio.