United States District Court, N.D. New York
WILLIAM J. LOFINK, JR., Petitioner,
ROBERT MACCARONE, Deputy Commissioner, New York State Office of Probation and Correction Alternatives, Respondent.
WILLIAM J. LOFINK, JR., Green Island, New York, Petitioner pro se.
LISA E. FLEISCHMANN, AAG, OFFICE OF THE NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL, New York, New York, Attorneys for Respondent.
MAE A. D'AGOSTINO, District Judge.
On January 27, 2014, Petitioner, a state probationer, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. See Dkt. No. 1. On October 23, 2014, Magistrate Judge Peebles issued a Report and Recommendation recommending that the Court dismiss the petition as untimely. See Dkt. No. 8. Since the issuance of that report, the Court was informed that Petitioner died on May 3, 2014. See Dkt. No. 11-1 at 1. Accordingly, Magistrate Judge Peebles issued an Amended Report and Recommendation recommending that the Court dismiss the petition as moot because Petitioner is no longer "in custody" as required by 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c). See Dkt. No. 12. Currently before the Court is Magistrate Judge Peebles unobjected to Amended Report and Recommendation.
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") provides:
An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim -
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or (2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).
"The Supreme Court's interpretation of the in custody' language in the federal habeas statute is not so narrow as to require that a prisoner be physically confined in order to challenge his sentence on habeas corpus." Rosato v. N.Y. Cnty. Dist. Attorney's Office, No. 09 Civ. 3742, 2009 WL 4790849, *4 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 14, 2009) (citing Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S. 488, 491 (1989)). "For example, [a]n individual on probation or parole is "in custody" for purpose of federal habeas corpus proceedings.'" Id. (quotation and other citations omitted). The death of a habeas petitioner, however, renders the challenge moot, since there is no relief that this Court can grant to the petitioner. See McMann v. Ross, 396 U.S. 118, 118 (1969); Zaker v. Artus, No. 04-CV-0886, 2007 WL 1521621, *1 (W.D.N.Y. May 22, 2007) (citation omitted); Griffey v. Lindsey, 349 F.3d 1157, 1157 (9th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted).
In the present matter, as Petitioner is no longer "in custody" as required by 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c) and there is no relief that can be granted to him, the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is dismissed as moot.
Accordingly, the Court hereby
ORDERS that Magistrate Judge Peebles Amended Report and Recommendation is ADOPTED in its entirety for the reasons set forth therein; and the Court further
ORDERS that the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is DISMISSED as moot; and the Court further
ORDERS that the Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment and close this case; ...