University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Amezcua v. Garcia IM-TX-0054
Docket / Court 5:20-cv-00054 ( S.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is a habeas petition and a complaint for injunctive relief brought on behalf of three immigration detainees confined in detention centers in Texas. The petitioners alleged that as people who were particularly vulnerable to the virus due to their age and serious medical ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is a habeas petition and a complaint for injunctive relief brought on behalf of three immigration detainees confined in detention centers in Texas. The petitioners alleged that as people who were particularly vulnerable to the virus due to their age and serious medical conditions, they were exposed to a heightened risk of COVID-19. Plaintiffs filed a stipulation of dismissal on December 24, 2020. We presume the case to be closed.


On April 15, 2020, three immigration detainees filed this lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and various detention center officers. Represented by private counsel, the Texas Civil Rights Project, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the petitioners sought writs of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, they alleged that the defendants were subjecting them to punishment in a way that violated their Fifth Amendment due process rights and violating the Rehabilitation Act by not taking into account their vulnerability to severe illness or death, denying them soap, hand sanitizer, and other hygiene products, failing to clean common items and surfaces, detaining them in crowded conditions that precluded social distancing, and failing to screen incoming detainees and officers for COVID-19 before entering the detention centers. The case was assigned to Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo and Magistrate Judge John A. Kazen.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss on April 24, arguing that the plaintiffs could not bring conditions of confinement claims in a habeas action, and that the alleged violations they had plead were not unconstitutional. Later, the Court granted the defendants motion to sever one of the plaintiffs from the case, as he was detained at a separate facility and therefore lacked any connection to the facility in question.

On July 31, 2020, the plaintiffs moved for a temporary restraining order, and on August 13, 2020, the defendants filed a response.

On December 24, 2020, the plaintiffs filed a stipulation of dismissal. However on February 3, 2021, the defendants filed a notice of binding authority. The Clearinghouse does not have access to these documents at this time, and presumes the case to be closed.

Caitlin Kierum - 07/30/2020
Justin Hill - 10/25/2020
Zofia Peach - 02/04/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
COVID-19
Mitigation Requested
Release Requested
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Habeas Corpus
Over/Unlawful Detention
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description 3 immigrant detainees in detention centers in Texas
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 04/17/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
S.D. Tex.
02/03/2021
5:20-cv-00054
IM-TX-0054-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
S.D. Tex.
04/15/2020
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-TX-0054-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Tex.
04/24/2020
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Response to Giorge Gonzalez's and Rafael Olvera's Petitions for Immediate Injunctive Relief [ECF# 14 (& 14-1 to 14-3)]
IM-TX-0054-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Tex.
04/24/2020
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Response to Raul Garza Marroquin's Petitions for Immediate Injunctive Relief [ECF# 16 (& 16-1 to 16-3)]
IM-TX-0054-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Garcia Marmolejo, Marina (S.D. Tex.) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-9000
Kazen, John A. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Garcia, Carlos Moctezuma (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-0001 | IM-TX-0054-9000
Hatoum, Daniel (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-0001 | IM-TX-0054-9000
Maldonado, Javier N (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-9000
McGraw, Peter Eammon (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-0001 | IM-TX-0054-9000
Menendez, Fatima (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-0001 | IM-TX-0054-9000
O'Connor, Carolyn (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-0001 | IM-TX-0054-9000
Olivares, Efren Carlos (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-0001 | IM-TX-0054-9000
Perales, Nina (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-0001 | IM-TX-0054-9000
Sheff, Rebecca (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-0001
Udelsman, Andrew (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-0001 | IM-TX-0054-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cravens, Annalisa L (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-0002 | IM-TX-0054-0003 | IM-TX-0054-9000
Patrick, Ryan K. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-0002 | IM-TX-0054-0003
Wiley, Ariel Nicole (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0054-0002 | IM-TX-0054-0003 | IM-TX-0054-9000

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