Case: Thompson v. Tsoukaris

1:20-cv-01449 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

Filed Date: April 3, 2020

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 Summary: Over a dozen non-citizens detained in immigration detention facilities, who had underlying medical conditions rendering them particularly susceptible to COVID-19 complications, filed this suit on April 3, 2020 against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Atlanta, GA, seeking immediate release. The court granted a motion to dismiss and terminated the case on April 7, 2020. On April 3, 2020, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and private c…

COVID-19 Summary: Over a dozen non-citizens detained in immigration detention facilities, who had underlying medical conditions rendering them particularly susceptible to COVID-19 complications, filed this suit on April 3, 2020 against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Atlanta, GA, seeking immediate release. The court granted a motion to dismiss and terminated the case on April 7, 2020.


On April 3, 2020, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and private counsel filed suit on behalf of thirteen individuals detained in three U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention or processing centers in Georgia. The plaintiffs named as defendants ICE, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and various officers of those departments. The plaintiffs asked the court to issue a writ of habeas corpus, or in the alternative, issue injunctive relief ordering the immediate release of the plaintiffs. In addition, the plaintiffs sought a declaration stating that the continued detention of individuals at increased risk for severe illness including COVID-19, violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Further, the plaintiffs asked for an award of attorneys' fees.

The complaint alleged that the medical conditions or underlying diseases of these detained individuals, like diabetes and hypertension, made them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. The facilities where ICE has detained the plaintiffs lacked access to critical care necessary for treating serious cases of COVID-19.

According to the complaint, imprisoned populations, including those in ICE detention facilities, pose a higher risk for the spread of infectious disease. The plaintiffs stated that in March 2020, over 3,000 medical professionals across the United States urged ICE to release individuals and families to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among detainees as well as facility staff. The complaint also explained that social distancing measures and large-scale quarantines as recommended by the Center for Disease Control are "nearly impossible" in immigration detention due to overcrowding, poor availability of hygiene products, and lack of access to adequate medical services.

In addition to the complaint, plaintiffs filed a motion for a temporary restraining order as well as an emergency writ of habeas corpus and requested an immediate hearing given the time-sensitive nature of the case. The plaintiffs alleged that because the government knew or should have known of the substantial risk to the plaintiffs, the continued detention of these individuals demonstrated deliberate indifference, thereby violating the plaintiffs' right to Due Process under the Fifth Amendment.

On April 6, 2020 the defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction or in the alternative, a transfer of venue. Additionally, the defendants asked the court to sever the plaintiffs' claims by facility.

The plaintiffs, in response, filed a motion for voluntary dismissal on April 6, 2020. The motion, without conceding that this court lacked jurisdiction, gave notice of the dismissal in the interest of expediting emergency relief. The motion stated that the plaintiffs would seek relief in other federal district courts. Martinez v. Donahue was filed on April 7 in the Middle District of Georgia, and Benavides v. Donahue was filed on April 8 in the Southern District of Georgia.

The court granted the motion to dismiss and terminated the case on April 7, 2020.

Summary Authors

Richa Bijlani (4/8/2020)

Related Cases

Martinez v. Donahue, Middle District of Georgia (2020)

Benavides v. Gartland, Southern District of Georgia (2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17042981/parties/thompson-v-tsoukaris/


Judge(s)

Grimberg, Steven Daniel None (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Brouillette, Amanda Nicole (Georgia)

Caldas, Tamara S. (Georgia)

Cassler, Rebecca (Georgia)

Chavez, Paul (Florida)

Crow, Melissa E. (District of Columbia)

Isted, Kathryn E (Georgia)

Li, Hillary (Georgia)

Mesa-Estrada, Victoria (Florida)

Nguyen, Phi U. (Georgia)

Judge(s)

Grimberg, Steven Daniel None (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Brouillette, Amanda Nicole (Georgia)

Caldas, Tamara S. (Georgia)

Cassler, Rebecca (Georgia)

Chavez, Paul (Florida)

Crow, Melissa E. (District of Columbia)

Isted, Kathryn E (Georgia)

Li, Hillary (Georgia)

Mesa-Estrada, Victoria (Florida)

Nguyen, Phi U. (Georgia)

Williams, Samuel (Georgia)

Willis, Gracie Harper (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Treadwell, Trishanda L (Georgia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

April 7, 2020 Docket
1

Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

April 3, 2020 Complaint
5

Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Emergency Writ of Habeas Corpus

April 3, 2020 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17042981/thompson-v-tsoukaris/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

PETITION for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Nilson Fernando Barahona Marriaga, Karen Lopez, Joseph Lloyd Thompson, Gerardo Arriaga, Sarai Hernandez, David Fernandez, Peter Owusu, Ansumana Jammeh, Shelley Dingus, Michael Robinson, Jenner Benavides, Tomas Hernandez, Aristoteles Sanchez Martinez. ( Filing fee $ 5 receipt number AGANDC-9561569.) (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(jed) Please visit our website at http://www.gand.uscourts.gov/commonly-used-forms to obtain Pretrial Instructions and Pretrial Associated Forms which includes the Consent To Proceed Before U.S. Magistrate form. Modified on 4/6/2020 to edit text (jed). (Entered: 04/03/2020)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

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April 3, 2020 RECAP
2

Summons Issued as to U.S. Attorney General, Matthew T. Albence, John Tsoukaris, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Chad Wolf. (Attachments: # 1 Summons as to John Tsoukaris, # 2 Summons as to Chad Wolf, # 3 Summons as to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, # 4 Summons as to Matthew T. Albence)(jed) (Entered: 04/03/2020)

1 Summons as to John Tsoukaris

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2 Summons as to Chad Wolf

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3 Summons as to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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4 Summons as to Matthew T. Albence

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April 3, 2020 RECAP
3

Certificate of Interested Persons by Gerardo Arriaga, Jenner Benavides, Shelley Dingus, David Fernandez, Sarai Hernandez, Tomas Hernandez, Ansumana Jammeh, Karen Lopez, Nilson Fernando Barahona Marriaga, Aristoteles Sanchez Martinez, Peter Owusu, Michael Robinson, Joseph Lloyd Thompson. (jed) Modified on 4/6/2020 to edit text (jed). (Entered: 04/03/2020)

April 3, 2020 PACER
4

MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and Emergency Writ of Habeas Corpusby Gerardo Arriaga, Jenner Benavides, Shelley Dingus, David Fernandez, Sarai Hernandez, Tomas Hernandez, Ansumana Jammeh, Karen Lopez, Nilson Fernando Barahona Marriaga, Aristoteles Sanchez Martinez, Peter Owusu, Michael Robinson, Joseph Lloyd Thompson. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Declaration of Hillary Li, # 2 Exhibit 1, # 3 Exhibit 2, # 4 Exhibit 3, # 5 Exhibit 4, # 6 Exhibit 5, # 7 Exhibit 6, # 8 Exhibit 7, # 9 Exhibit 8, # 10 Exhibit 9, # 11 Exhibit 10, # 12 Exhibit 11, # 13 Exhibit 12, # 14 Exhibit 13, # 15 Exhibit 14, # 16 Exhibit 15, # 17 Exhibit 16, # 18 Exhibit 17, # 19 Exhibit 18, # 20 Exhibit 19, # 21 Exhibit 20, # 22 Text of Proposed Order)(jed) Modified on 4/6/2020 to edit text(jed). (Entered: 04/03/2020)

1 Affidavit Declaration of Hillary Li

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2 Exhibit 1

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3 Exhibit 2

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4 Exhibit 3

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5 Exhibit 4

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6 Exhibit 5

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7 Exhibit 6

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8 Exhibit 7

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9 Exhibit 8

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10 Exhibit 9

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11 Exhibit 10

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12 Exhibit 11

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13 Exhibit 12

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14 Exhibit 13

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15 Exhibit 14

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16 Exhibit 15

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17 Exhibit 16

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18 Exhibit 17

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19 Exhibit 18

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20 Exhibit 19

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21 Exhibit 20

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22 Text of Proposed Order

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April 3, 2020 RECAP

Submission of 4 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and Emergency Writ of Habeas Corpus to District Judge Steven D. Grimberg. (jed)

April 3, 2020 PACER
5

Memorandum of Law in Support of 4 Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Emergency Writ of Habeas Corpus by Gerardo Arriaga, Jenner Benavides, Shelley Dingus, David Fernandez, Sarai Hernandez, Tomas Hernandez, Ansumana Jammeh, Karen Lopez, Nilson Fernando Barahona Marriaga, Aristoteles Sanchez Martinez, Peter Owusu, Michael Robinson, Joseph Lloyd Thompson. (Li, Hillary) Modified on 4/6/2020 to edit text (jed). (Entered: 04/03/2020)

April 3, 2020 RECAP
6

MOTION To Proceed Under Pseudonyms and For a Protective Order with Brief In Support by Gerardo Arriaga, Jenner Benavides, Shelley Dingus, David Fernandez, Sarai Hernandez, Tomas Hernandez, Ansumana Jammeh, Karen Lopez, Nilson Fernando Barahona Marriaga, Aristoteles Sanchez Martinez, Peter Owusu, Michael Robinson, Joseph Lloyd Thompson. (Attachments: # 1 Brief Memo ISO Motion for Leave to Proceed Under Pseudonyms and For a Protective Order)(Li, Hillary) Modified on to edit text 4/6/2020 (jed). (Entered: 04/03/2020)

1 Brief Memo ISO Motion for Leave to Proceed Under Pseudonyms and For a Protective

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April 3, 2020 RECAP
7

AFFIDAVIT re 4 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order IMMEDIATE HEARING REQUESTED Correcting Declaration of Laura Rivera by Gerardo Arriaga, Jenner Benavides, Shelley Dingus, David Fernandez, Sarai Hernandez, Tomas Hernandez, Ansumana Jammeh, Karen Lopez, Nilson Fernando Barahona Marriaga, Aristoteles Sanchez Martinez, Peter Owusu, Michael Robinson, Joseph Lloyd Thompson. (Li, Hillary) Modified on 4/6/2020 to edit text (jed). (Entered: 04/04/2020)

April 4, 2020 PACER
8

MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction or, in the Alternative, Motion to Transfer Venue with Brief In Support by Matthew T. Albence, John Tsoukaris, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Chad Wolf. (Attachments: # 1 Brief)(Williams, Samuel) . Added MOTION to Transfer Venue on 4/7/2020 (jed). (Entered: 04/06/2020)

1 Brief

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April 6, 2020 PACER
9

MOTION to Sever with Brief In Support by Matthew T. Albence, John Tsoukaris, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Chad Wolf. (Attachments: # 1 Brief)(Treadwell, Trishanda) (Entered: 04/06/2020)

1 Brief

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April 6, 2020 PACER
10

NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal filed by Gerardo Arriaga, Nilson Fernando Barahona Marriaga, Jenner Benavides, Shelley Dingus, David Fernandez, Sarai Hernandez, Tomas Hernandez, Ansumana Jammeh, Karen Lopez, Aristoteles Sanchez Martinez, Peter Owusu, Michael Robinson, Joseph Lloyd Thompson (Li, Hillary) (Entered: 04/06/2020)

April 6, 2020 PACER

Clerk's Entry of Dismissal APPROVING 10 Notice of Voluntary Dismissal, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.41(a)(1)(A)(ii) (jed)

April 7, 2020 PACER

Civil Case Terminated. (jed)

April 7, 2020 PACER

State / Territory: Georgia

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 3, 2020

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Individuals with underlying medical conditions detained at ICE facilities in Georgia

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC

Southern Poverty Law Center

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Washington), Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process: Substantive Due Process

Equal Protection

Special Case Type(s):

Habeas

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Habeas Corpus

Over/Unlawful Detention

Sanitation / living conditions

Totality of conditions

COVID-19:

Mitigation Denied

Mitigation Requested

Release Denied

Release Requested

Type of Facility:

Government-run

Immigration/Border:

Constitutional rights

Detention - conditions

Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties