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Case Name Diaz v. Hott IM-VA-0010
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-1405 ( E.D. Va. )
State/Territory Virginia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Post-WalMart decisions on class certification
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
This class action relates to an immigration detainee's access to bond hearings under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)(8 U.S.C. Ch. 12) when that person has been placed in withholding-only proceedings, which happen when an Immigration Judge (IJ) or asylum officer determines that the ... read more >
This class action relates to an immigration detainee's access to bond hearings under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)(8 U.S.C. Ch. 12) when that person has been placed in withholding-only proceedings, which happen when an Immigration Judge (IJ) or asylum officer determines that the petitioner has a reasonable fear of persecution/torture if they are deported.

Petitioners were all individually removed from the United States following deportation orders. Each petitioner received death threats upon returning to their native countries, prompting them to return illegally to the US. Upon returning, the petitioners were detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at Immigration Centers of America Farmfille in Virginia and were placed in withholding-only proceedings. The plaintiffs were represented by the Legal Aid Justice Center. The case was filed on December 7, 2017, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, with Judge Leonie M. Brinkema presiding. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, the petitioners filed a habeas corpus petition seeking class certification and an order directing the Attorney General (then Jeff Sessions) and the Field Office Director for ICE to grant the plaintiffs bond hearings.

On January 12, 2018, the petitioners filed a motion for summary judgment. The government filed a cross motion for summary judgment on February 2. In a memorandum opinion from February 26, 2018, Judge Brinkema granted the petitioner’s motion for summary judgement on the grounds that the petitioners had been detained under § 1226(a) of the INA and that such detainees were entitled to bond hearings. Judge Brinkema also certified the class of petitioners and denied the government’s motion for summary judgment.

The government appealed the District Court summary judgment order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on April 19, 2018. The Fourth Circuit consolidated this appeal with an appeal from a very similar case, Romero v. Evans. On October 10, 2019, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the lower court rulings in both cases and ruled in favor of the petitioners. 940 F.3d 867.

The government petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari on January 21, 2020. The Supreme Court granted certiorari on June 15, 2020 and designated the case Johnson v. Guzman Chavez. 141 S.Ct. 107.

On June 29, 2021, the Supreme Court reversed the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and ruled in favor of the government. First, the Court held that §1231 of the INA is the provision which applies to immigration detainees who sought to withhold removal proceedings based on fear of persecution if deported. Second, the Court held that §1231 of the INA doesn’t allow individualized bond hearings, and that therefore, the petitioners in this case were not entitled to such hearings. 2021 WL 2653264.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the government effectively ended the case.

John Duffield - 06/30/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond
Habeas Corpus
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Immigration/Border
Asylum - procedure
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description Immigration detainees placed in withholding-only proceedings--meaning the person is in custody after either an Immigration Judge (IJ) or asylum officer determined the petitioner has a reasonable fear of persecution/torture if they are deported.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 12/07/2017
Case Closing Year 2021
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing IM-VA-0009 : Romero v. Evans (E.D. Va.)
Additional Resources
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  Johnson v. Guzman Chavez
Oyez
Date: Jun. 29, 2021
By: Oyez
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
E.D. Va.
02/14/2020
1:17-cv-01405
IM-VA-0010-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
E.D. Va.
02/26/2018
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 31] (297 F.Supp.3d 618)
IM-VA-0010-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Brinkema, Leonie M. (E.D. Va.) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0010-0001 | IM-VA-0010-9000
Nachmanoff, Michael S. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-VA-0010-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers McFarland, Rachel Colleen (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0010-9000
Reyes, James (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0010-9000
Sandoval-Moshenberg, Simon (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0010-9000
Stevens, Mark Alastair (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0010-9000
Defendant's Lawyers McCotter, R. Trent (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0010-9000

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