Detention: Law of: D.C. Circuit Development

No Affirmance in Rimi; No Remand, Either

By Wells Bennett
Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 9:50 PM

That's the gist of this order, issued today by a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit, in Rimi v. Obama.

The detainee, who had been transferred from Guantanamo to Libya in 2006, unsuccessfully sought habeas relief from the district court.  Insisting that his departure from GTMO did not moot the habeas case,  Rimi argued that past detention by the United States continued to harm him---by leading to his criminal conviction and sentencing afterwards, in Libya---and thus conferred federal court jurisdiction.

On appeal, the detainee moved to supplement the record, and for a summary remand; the United States opposed this, and filed its its own motion for summary affirmance.   Among other things, the government observed that Rimi had escaped from Libyan custody, during the collapse of the Qaddafi regime.

So which party prevailed today, the appellant or the appellee?   Neither, strictly speaking: both filed motions and both motions were rejected by the Court of Appeals, one with prejudice and the other without.  It seems nevertheless that Rimi will submit additional briefing shortly: 

Upon consideration of the motion to supplement and for summary remand, the response thereto, and the reply; and the renewed motion for summary affirmance, the response thereto, and the reply, it is

ORDERED that the renewed motion for summary affirmance be denied.

It is

FURTHER ORDERED that the motion to supplement and for summary remand be denied without prejudice to appellants’ renewing the motion to supplement in the district court under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)See Nat’l Anti-Hunger Coalition v. Executive Comm. of the President’s Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, 711 F.2d 1071, 1075 (D.C. Cir. 1983) (newly discovered evidence is a matter for the district court to consider upon a motion for relief from judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)); see also Fed. R. App. P. 12.1.

It is

FURTHER ORDERED that appellants file, within 30 days of the date of this order, a motion to govern further proceedings, which may include a motion to hold the appeal in abeyance pending disposition of any further proceedings before the district court.  Cf. Al-Harbi v. Obama, No. 10-5217 (D.C. Cir. Apr. 19, 2011) (holding case in abeyance pending the district court's consideration of government's motions under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) and 62.1).