University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
view search results
page permalink
Case Name Brito v. Barr IM-MA-0025
Docket / Court 1:19-cv-11314 ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National (all projects)
Case Summary
This civil rights class action challenges the burden of proof and other procedural issues within immigration court bond hearings.

In 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested the named plaintiffs in this case and initiated deportation proceedings. ICE placed each one ... read more >
This civil rights class action challenges the burden of proof and other procedural issues within immigration court bond hearings.

In 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested the named plaintiffs in this case and initiated deportation proceedings. ICE placed each one in immigration detention pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1226(a), so they were eligible for release on bond. (Under a different statutory provision, 8 U.S.C. 1226(c), applicable based on criminal history or national security grounds, some noncitizens facing deportation are categorically ineligible for bond.) The government’s bond hearings under § 1226(a) placed the burden of proof regarding flight risks or dangers to the community on the detained person, not the government. Some of the named plaintiffs had not been afforded a bond hearing yet; others had been denied bond.

This case was filed on June 13, 2019, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts as a habeas corpus petition and putative class action complaint against the Department of Justice, which is responsible for operating the immigration courts. Plaintiffs sought to represent a class of detainees detained pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1226(a), “either within Massachusetts or otherwise within the jurisdiction of the Boston Immigration Court.”

The case was assigned to Chief Judge Patti Saris. Plaintiffs’ lawyers included a private firm, the ACLU National Prison Project, and two state ACLU affiliates (New Hampshire and Massachusetts).

Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief. They argued that the burden of proof in immigration bond properly lays not on the detainee but on the government. Second, they sought implementation of a “clear and convincing evidence” standard; that is, they argued that bond should be granted unless there was clear and convincing evidence of a safety or flight risk need for ongoing detention. Third, they claimed that alternative conditions of release must be considered by immigration courts. Finally, they claimed that immigration courts must consider detainees’ ability to pay when they set bond.

On August 6, 2019, the court certified two classes, each for detainees held under §1226(a)--one for those who had not yet received a bond hearing and the other for those who had received a hearing but had been denied bond. 395 F.Supp.3d 135.

On November 27, 2019, Judge Saris ruled on the request for an injunction, granting it in part and denying it in part. First, the Court agreed with the plaintiffs that the burden of proof should be placed on the government to prove that the detainee was dangerous or a flight risk. Second, it held that immigration courts must evaluate detainees' ability to pay. Third, immigration courts must consider alternative conditions of release including GPS monitoring. However, the Court rejected the plaintiffs’ "clear and convincing evidence" proposal, instead of holding that the “preponderance of evidence” standard would apply. The Court rejected plaintiffs’ request for re-dos on all the bond hearings members of the post-hearing class that had lost but ordered the government to report various facts to class counsel including whether a new bond hearing was held under the injunction’s rules. 415 F.Supp.3d 258.

Both sides appealed. Plaintiffs sought review of the District Court’s “preponderance of evidence” ruling. The government challenged the rest of the decision. This case is ongoing.

Eric Gripp - 06/17/2021


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Suspension Clause
Content of Injunction
Reporting
Required disclosure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond
Habeas Corpus
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Immigration/Border
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)
Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description Two classes: Pre-Hearing Class: All individuals who 1) are or will be detained pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1226(a), 2) are held in immigration detention subject to the jurisdiction of the Boston Immigration Court, and 3) have not received an immigration bond hearing. Post-Hearing Class: All individuals who 1) are or will be detained pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1226(a), 2) are held in immigration detention subject to the jurisdiction of the Boston Immigration Court, and 3) have received a bond hearing.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National (all projects)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Document/information produced
Declaratory Judgment
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2019 - n/a
Filed 06/13/2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Pereira Brito v. Wilkinson (Previously Pereira Brito v. Rosen and Pereira Brito v. Barr)
Date: Jun. 17, 2021
(ACLU of Massachusetts)
Citation: Pereira Brito v. Wilkinson (Previously Pereira Brito v. Rosen and Pereira Brito v. Barr), ACLU of Mass., https://www.aclum.org/en/cases/pereira-brito-v-wilkinson-previously-pereira-brito-v-rosen-and-pereira-brito-v-barr (last visited June 17, 2021).
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
D. Mass.
01/31/2020
1:19-cv-11314-PBS
IM-MA-0025-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Mass.
06/13/2019
Habeas Corpus Petition and Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-MA-0025-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
08/06/2019
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 58] (395 F.Supp.3d 135)
IM-MA-0025-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
11/27/2019
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 88] (415 F.Supp.3d 258)
IM-MA-0025-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Saris, Patti B. (D. Mass.) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-0002 | IM-MA-0025-0003 | IM-MA-0025-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bissonnette, Gilles R (New Hampshire) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-0001 | IM-MA-0025-9000
Cohen, Susan J. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-0001 | IM-MA-0025-9000
Dougherty, Ryan T (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-0001 | IM-MA-0025-9000
Finegan, Susan M. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-0001 | IM-MA-0025-9000
Kim, SangYeob (New Hampshire) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-0001 | IM-MA-0025-9000
Klementowicz, Henry (New Hampshire) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-0001 | IM-MA-0025-9000
Lafaille, Adriana (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-0001 | IM-MA-0025-9000
Mather, Jennifer J (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-9000
McFadden, Daniel L. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-0001 | IM-MA-0025-9000
McGee-Tubb, Mathilda (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-0001 | IM-MA-0025-9000
Nathanson, Andrew (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-0001 | IM-MA-0025-9000
Segal, Matthew (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-0001 | IM-MA-0025-9000
Tan, Michael King Thomas (California) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-0001 | IM-MA-0025-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Farquhar, Rayford A. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-9000
Le, Huy (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-9000
Sheffield, Carlton F. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-9000
Weintraub, J. Max (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0025-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
view search results
page permalink

- top of page -