March 26, 2018
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE
judges of the United States District Court for the Southern
District of California adopted a districtwide policy
permitting the use of full restraints-handcuffs connected to
a waist chain, with legs shackled-on most in-custody
defendants produced in court for nonjury proceedings by the
United States Marshals Service. Respondents Jasmin Morales,
Rene Sanchez-Gomez, Moises Patricio-Guzman, and Mark Ring
challenged the use of such restraints in their respective
cases and the restraint policy as a whole. The District Court
denied their challenges, and respondents appealed to the
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Before that court
could issue a decision, respondents' underlying criminal
cases ended. The court-viewing the case as a "functional
class action" involving "class-like claims"
seeking "class-like relief, " 859 F.3d 649, 655,
657-658-held that this Court's civil class action
precedents saved the case from mootness. On the merits, the
Court of Appeals held the policy unconstitutional.
This case is moot. Pp. 3-12.
(a) The federal judiciary may adjudicate only "actual
and concrete disputes, the resolutions of which have direct
consequences on the parties involved." Genesis
HealthCare Corp. v. Symczyk, 569 U.S. 66, 71. Such a
dispute "must be extant at all stages of review, not
merely at the time the complaint is filed." Preiser
v. Newkirk, 422 U.S. 395, 401. A case that becomes moot
at any point during the proceedings is thus outside the
jurisdiction of the federal courts. See Already, LLC v.
Nike, Inc., 568 U.S. 85, 91. Pp. 3-4.
(b) In concluding that this case was not moot, the Court of
Appeals relied upon this Court's class action precedents,
most prominently Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103.
That reliance was misplaced. Ger-stein was a class
action respecting pretrial detention brought under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 23. The named class
representatives' individual claims had apparently become
moot before class certification. This Court held that the
case could nonetheless proceed, explaining that due to the
inherently temporary nature of pretrial detention, no named
representative might be in custody long enough for a class to
be certified. Gerstein does not support a
freestanding exception to mootness outside the class action
context. It belongs to a line of cases that this Court has
described as turning on the particular traits of Rule 23
class actions. See, e.g., Sosna v. Iowa, 419 U.S.
393; United States Parole Comm'nv. Geraghty, 445
U.S. 388; Genesis HealthCare, 569 U.S. 66. The
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure establish for criminal
cases no vehicle comparable to the civil class action, and
this Court has never permitted criminal defendants to band
together to seek prospective relief in their individual cases
on behalf of a class. Here, the mere presence of allegations
that might, if resolved in respondents' favor, benefit
other similarly situated individuals cannot save their case
from mootness. See id., at 73. That conclusion is
unaffected by the Court of Appeals' decision to recast
respondents' appeals as petitions for supervisory
mandamus. Pp. 4- 9.
(c) Respondents do not defend the reasoning of the Court of
Appeals, and instead argue that the claims of two
respondents- Sanchez-Gomez and Patricio-Guzman-fall within
the "exception to the mootness doctrine for a
controversy that is capable of repetition, yet evading
review." Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United
States, 579 U.S.__, __ (internal quotation marks
omitted). Respondents claim that the exception applies
because Sanchez-Gomez and Patricio-Guzman will again violate
the law, be apprehended, and be returned to pretrial custody.
But this Court has consistently refused to "conclude
that the case-or-controversy requirement is satisfied
by" the possibility that a party "will be
prosecuted for violating valid criminal laws."
O'Shea v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 488, 497.
Respondents argue that this usual refusal to assume future
criminal conduct is unwarranted here given the particular
circumstances of Sanchez-Gomez's and
Patricio-Guzman's offenses. They cite two civil
cases-Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305, and Turner v.
Rogers, 564 U.S. 431-i');">564 U.S. 431-in which this Court concluded that
the expectation that a litigant would repeat the misconduct
that gave rise to his claims rendered those claims capable of
repetition. But Honig and Turner are
inapposite because they concerned litigants unable, for
reasons beyond their control, to prevent themselves from
transgressing and avoid recurrence of the challenged conduct.
Sanchez-Gomez and Patricio-Guzman, in contrast, are
"able-and indeed required by law"-to refrain from
further criminal conduct. Lane v. Williams, 455 U.S.
624, 633, n. 13. No departure from the settled rule is
warranted. Pp. 9-12.
859 F.3d 649, vacated and remanded.
Roberts, Chief Justice
criminal defendants objected to being bound by full
restraints during pretrial proceedings in their cases, but
the District Court denied relief. On appeal, the Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the use of such
restraints was unconstitutional, even though each of the four
criminal cases had ended prior to its decision. The question
presented is whether the appeals were saved from mootness
either because the defendants sought "class-like
relief" in a "functional class action, " or
because the challenged practice was "capable of
repetition, yet evading review."
the responsibility of the United States Marshals Service to
"provide for the security . . . of the United States
District Courts." 28 U.S.C. §566(a). To fulfill
that duty, the United States Marshal for the Southern
District of California requested that the judges of that
district permit the use of full restraints on all in-custody
defendants during nonjury proceedings. When "full
restraints" are applied, "a defendant's hands
are closely handcuffed together, these handcuffs are
connected by chain to another chain running around the
defendant's waist, and the defendant's feet are
shackled and chained together." 859 F.3d 649, 653 (CA9
2017) (en banc). In support of his proposal, the Marshal
cited safety concerns arising from understaffing, past
incidents of violence, and the high volume of in-custody
defendants produced in the Southern District. The judges
agreed to the Marshal's request, with modifications
providing that a district or magistrate judge may require a
defendant to be produced without restraints, and that a
defendant can request that this be done. See App. 78-79.
Jasmin Morales, Rene Sanchez-Gomez, Moises Patricio-Guzman,
and Mark Ring were among the defendants produced by the
Marshals Service for pretrial proceedings in full restraints.
They raised constitutional objections to the use of such
restraints in their respective cases, and to the restraint
policy as a whole. They noted that the policy had resulted in
the imposition of full restraints on, for example, a woman
with a fractured ...