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Quainoo v. Holder

United States District Court, District Circuit

July 10, 2013

EBENEZER KOBINA QUAINOO, Plaintiff,
v.
ERIC HOLDER, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, District Judge.

Pending before the Court is plaintiff's petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the defendants, [1] specifically the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service ("USCIS"), to adjudicate plaintiff's I-751 waiver petition.[2] Plaintiff initiated this action on January 17, 2013, pursuant to the Mandamus Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1361, and the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 702 et seq., after his I-751 waiver petition had been pending before the USCIS for 42 months (since June 1, 2009). (Compl., ECF No. 2, at 2.)

The government filed a motion to extend the time to file an answer to plaintiff's complaint on June 3, 2013. (U.S. Mot., ECF No. 9.) In that motion, defendants represented that the USCIS had issued a letter of intent to deny plaintiff's I-751 waiver petition. ( Id. at 1.) In light of that representation, the Court ordered plaintiff to show cause why his mandamus action should not be dismissed as moot. (Minute Order of June 4, 2013.) Plaintiff's show cause response was due on July 1, 2013. ( Id. ) That deadline has now come and gone, yet the plaintiff has not filed any response.

"[A] case is moot when the issues presented are no longer live' or the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the outcome." Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486, 496 (1969). "[T]he mootness doctrine requires a federal court to refrain from deciding [a case] if events have so transpired that the decision will [not] presently affect the parties' rights[.]" Bouguettaya v. Chertoff, 472 F.Supp.2d 1, 2 (D.D.C. 2007) (quoting Columbian Rope Co. v. West, 142 F.3d 1313, 1316 (D.C. Cir. 1998)). In his I-751 waiver petition, plaintiff specifically requested that the USCIS adjudicate the petition by issuing a notice of intent to deny. (Compl. ¶ 33.) Plaintiff does not dispute that the USCIS has now issued such a notice; indeed, he filed no response to the Court's order to show cause. Because the relief that plaintiff seeks apparently has already been provided, this mandamus action must be dismissed as moot. See Bouguettaya, 472 F.Supp.2d at 2 ("As USCIS denied [plaintiff's] AOS application..., his request that the Court order the USCIS to process that application is now moot."); see also Ahmad v. Napolitano, No. 09-1052 (JDB), ECF No. 16 ("Where [USCIS] has denied an application... a plaintiff's request that the Court order [USCIS] to process the application must be dismissed as moot.") (citing Bouguettaya, 472 F.Supp.2d at 2).

Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that this case is dismissed.


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