It is no small matter to deprive a litigant of the rewards of its efforts, particularly in a case that has been litigated up to this Court and back down again. Such action on grounds of mootness would be justified only if it were absolutely clear that the litigant no longer had any need of the judicial protection that it sought.
Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Slater, 528 U.S. 216, 224, 120 S. Ct. 722, 726 (2000) (per curiam).
The case now before us began in 2007 and is here on its second trip to this Court. By this appeal, John Doe challenges the District Court’s order dismissing as moot his lawsuit alleging that two Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) officials violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment. After careful review and with the benefit of oral argument, we conclude that the defendants failed to demonstrate unambiguous termination of the challenged conduct. We therefore reverse the District Court’s order and remand for further proceedings.
Mr. Doe was convicted in the District of Columbia for violations of the D.C. Code and has since been incarcerated in various prisons run by the BOP. His complaint alleges the following facts, which on a motion to dismiss are accepted as true. Nat’l Ass’n of Bds. of Pharmacy v. Bd. of Regents, 633 F.3d 1297, 1301 n.3 (11th Cir. 2011).
While Mr. Doe was incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary (USP) in Atlanta, a BOP officer coerced him into sexual relations. In 2004, Mr. Doe cooperated with a federal investigation of the officer by wearing a wire and engaging the officer in conversation about their earlier sexual interactions. The officer resigned as a result of the investigation. In return for his role in the investigation, Mr. Doe was promised that he would be kept safe and would be transferred to a lower security prison.
Judge(s): Beverly Martin
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
Related Categories: Civil Rights , Constitutional Law
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|