United States District Court, District of Columbia
BERMAN JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE .
is a District of Columbia prisoner currently incarcerated at
the Hazelton Federal Correctional Institution in Bruceton
Mills, West Virginia. He is serving an aggregate sentence of
20 years to life for multiple convictions that include
first-degree murder while armed, assault with a dangerous
weapon, and two counts of assault with intent to kill while
armed. See Earle v. U.S., 808 F.Supp.2d 301, 302
(D.D.C. 2011). In this action, petitioner seeks a writ of
mandamus under 28 U.S.C. § 1361 to compel his
deportation to his home country of Jamaica, in accordance
with a removal order issued on May 15, 1995.
response to the court's order to show cause why the writ
should not issue, the respondents, Immigration and
Naturalization Service (“INS”) and United States
Attorney General, have moved to dismiss under Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) [Dkt. # 13]. In
addition to asserting lack of subject matter jurisdiction and
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,
respondents argue that petitioner's claims were
previously adjudicated and are thus precluded by res
judicata and collateral estoppel. As explained below,
the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”)
divests this court of jurisdiction over petitioner's
claim. So the court will grant respondent's motion
without addressing the preclusion arguments.
is a Jamaican national who came to the United States on
January 3, 1976, “on a permanent Residency Visa.”
Pet. at 2. On June 13, 1985, petitioner was arrested at his
home in Washington, D.C. on the charges that eventually led
to his convictions on November 3, 1986, and June 2, 1987,
following separate jury trials in the Superior Court of the
District of Columbia. See id. at 2-3.
December 16, 1991, the INS lodged a detainer with authorities
at the United States Penitentiary in Lompoc, California,
where petitioner was then incarcerated, to ensure that
petitioner would be remanded to the custody of the INS to
face deportation proceedings once he was released from the
custody of the Bureau of Prisons. On May 15, 1995, following
an immigration status hearing, INS “found”
petitioner “to be deportable” and issued the
order of removal that forms the basis of this mandamus
action. Pet. at 3.
the Immigration and Nationality Act that he claims was in
effect in 1995, petitioner contends here that he should have
been deported within six months of the removal order. Pet. at
4-5. In 2001, the United States District Court for the
District of New Mexico rejected that argument in habeas
corpus proceedings held there. See Resp't's
Ex. 1 [Dkt. # 13-1]. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth
Circuit noted when denying a certificate of appealability
that petitioner had sought “issuance of an order
requiring his immediate deportation so that he would not be
required to complete his state-ordered prison terms.”
Earle v. I.N.S, 50 Fed. App'x 393, 394 (10th
Cir. 2002). The Tenth Circuit agreed that the district court
“had no ‘jurisdiction to order that [Mr.]
Earle's [state] sentence be cut short so that he may be
deported immediately.” Id. (alterations in
original). Petitioner filed this mandamus action some 14
years later, in May 2016, to compel the same relief.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and the law
presumes that “a cause lies outside this limited
jurisdiction.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co.
of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377(1994); see also Gen.
Motors Corp. v. EPA, 363 F.3d 442, 448 (D.C. Cir. 2004)
(“As a court of limited jurisdiction, we begin, and
end, with an examination of our jurisdiction.”). The
Except as provided in this section and notwithstanding any
other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), including
section 2241 of Title 28, or any other habeas corpus
provision, and sections 1361 and 1651 of such title, no court
shall have jurisdiction to hear any cause or claim by or on
behalf of any alien arising from the decision or action by
the Attorney General to commence proceedings, adjudicate
cases, or execute removal orders against any alien
under this chapter.
8 U.S.C. § 1252(h) (emphasis added). The INA expressly
strips the district courts of jurisdiction “to review
any final order of removal against an alien who is removable
by reason of having committed a criminal offense covered in
section 1182(a)(2) or 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), ” which
includes crimes of moral turpitude and aggravated felonies,
respectively. 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(C).
As to the specific relief sought in this action, the INA
(A) [Except with respect to nonviolent offenders], the
Attorney General may not remove an alien who is sentenced to
imprisonment until the alien is released from imprisonment.
Parole, supervised release, probation, or possibility of
arrest or further imprisonment is not a reason to defer
removal. . . . (D) No cause or claim may be asserted under
this paragraph against any official of the United States or
of any State to compel the release, removal, or consideration
for release or removal of any alien.
U.S.C. § 1231(a)(4). Petitioner does not qualify under
the exception, and he is in prison.Therefore, petitioner has
no current right to be deported. And absent a “clear
and indisputable” right to the requested relief, the
extraordinary remedy of a writ of mandamus is simply
unavailable.In re Cheney,406 F.3d 723, 729 (D.C.
Cir. 2005) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted);
see Sjogreen v. Reno,943 F.Supp. 29, 30 (D.D.C.
1996), quoting United States v. Velasquez, 930
F.Supp. 1267, 1268 (N.D.Ill. 1996) (“The decision ...