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Case Name Arriaga Reyes v. Decker IM-NJ-0012
Docket / Court 2:20-cv-03600 ( D.N.J. )
State/Territory New Jersey
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National Prison Project
Bronx Defenders
Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
This is a case about five men, aged 33 to 59 with underlying medical conditions, detained in United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody who petitioned for immediate release based on their vulnerability to serious COVID-19 infection.

On April 2, 2020, the plaintiffs ... read more >
This is a case about five men, aged 33 to 59 with underlying medical conditions, detained in United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody who petitioned for immediate release based on their vulnerability to serious COVID-19 infection.

On April 2, 2020, the plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, but the case was transferred to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey after the court concluded improper venue. The plaintiffs sued ICE and related officials under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Represented by the Bronx Defenders, the ACLU of New Jersey, the ACLU National Prison Project, the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, and the Legal Aid Society, plaintiffs sought a writ of habeas corpus and an order of immediate release. In light of their heightened risk of serious COVID-19 infection, plaintiffs claimed their detention violated their substantive and procedural due process rights under the Fifth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment. In addition to injunctive relief, plaintiffs sought declaratory relief.

Only four days after filing their original complaint, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint and an emergency motion for a Temporary Restraining Order for immediate release of the plaintiffs with reasonable conditions for supervision. The complaint detailed the medical conditions of the plaintiffs that put them at increased risk for serious COVID-19 infection or even death, including asthma, diabetes, hepatitis, and hypertension, among others. Despite guidance from medical experts to reduce prison populations to control the spread of COVID-19, and a directive to focus specifically on those who are most vulnerable, the plaintiffs alleged that ICE failed to do so. The complaint details how, in prisons, people are packed in close quarters (limiting the ability to social distance), are forced to share necessities with many others, and are deprived of basic forms of preventative hygiene (such as limited access to hand soap to wash hands, a critical part of preventing COVID-19 infection). Plaintiffs further alleged that, even before the pandemic, ICE facilities had a history of unsanitary conditions and poor medical treatment, including ignoring repeated requests for care.

Recognizing that ICE detention is discretionary, each of the plaintiffs had previously filed a release request. At the time of filing, ICE had not responded to plaintiffs’ release requests. All five plaintiffs asserted that they either had minimal or long-past criminal histories and showed little danger to the community or risk of flight. Thus, the plaintiffs sought relief from the district court for immediate release through a Temporary Restraining Order.

On April 12, 2020, Judge Madeline Cox Arleo granted the plaintiffs’ motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and ordered the defendants to immediately release the plaintiffs. Release was subject to the following conditions: all plaintiffs were restricted to home confinement (other than for essential reasons or lawful work), and ordered to comply with all court orders, attend all court dates, adhere to ICE’s standard conditions of release, and comply with all COVID-19 guidance and protocols. Three plaintiffs were also to be supervised by electronic bracelet monitoring. ICE was given 24 hours to process the order and release the plaintiffs. 453 F.Supp.3d 670. The court arranged to hear arguments as to whether the temporary restraining order should become a preliminary injunction on May 4, 2020.

On May 4, 2020, the temporary restraining order was extended for two weeks. At the end of the month, the plaintiffs filed a motion to convert the temporary restraining order to a preliminary injunction.

On December 29, 2020, the court denied the motion as moot in light of the ruling of the Third Circuit in Hope v. Warden York County Prison. 956 F.3d 156. The Third Circuit held that the orders mandating the release of immigration facility detainees due to COVID-19 infection risks were appealable as preliminary injunctions rather than temporary restraining orders, even if the court had classified them as temporary restraining orders. 956 F.3d 156. Based on the Third Circuit ruling, the district court deemed the temporary restraining order a preliminary injunction and continued to enforce the terms as dictated. The parties were ordered to notify the court within thirty days as to whether they agreed to extend the terms of the preliminary injunction. On February 2, 2021, the court ordered the preliminary injunction to be extended until April 28, 2021. Approximately four months later, the court ordered a further extension until January 23, 2022.

Jordan Schuler - 10/09/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Suspension Clause
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
COVID-19
Population-Medically vulnerable
Release Granted
Release granted-group
Release granted-individual
Release Requested
Defendant-type
Corrections
Law-enforcement
General
Conditions of confinement
Habeas Corpus
Over/Unlawful Detention
Sanitation / living conditions
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Defendant(s) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf
Attorney General William Barr
Director
Field Director, New York City Field Office
Warden
Warden
Plaintiff Description Five men detained in ICE custody, who, as a result of underlying medical conditions, petitioned for immediate release based on heightened risk of serious COVID-19 infection.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National Prison Project
Bronx Defenders
Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Habeas relief
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2020 - 2022
Filed 04/02/2020
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)
  Arriaga Reyes, et al. v. Decker, et al.
ACLU of New Jersey
Date: Apr. 13, 2020
By: ACLU New Jersey
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
D.N.J.
08/23/2021
2:20-cv-03600-MCA
IM-NJ-0012-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D.N.J.
04/06/2020
First Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 12]
IM-NJ-0012-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.N.J.
04/12/2020
Opinion [ECF# 26] (453 F.Supp.3d 670)
IM-NJ-0012-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.N.J.
04/12/2020
Order [ECF# 27] (453 F.Supp.3d 670)
IM-NJ-0012-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.N.J.
12/29/2020
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 50] (2020 WL 8881561)
IM-NJ-0012-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Arleo, Madeline Cox (D.N.J.) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-0002 | IM-NJ-0012-0003 | IM-NJ-0012-0004 | IM-NJ-0012-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Anello, Farrin R (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-0001 | IM-NJ-0012-9000
Cho, Eunice (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-0001
Dona, Julie Ann (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-0001
Fathi, David Cyrus (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-0001
Haas, Katherine Eliza (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-0001 | IM-NJ-0012-9000
Jadwat, Omar C. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-0001
Levine, Zoe (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-0001
Linhorst, Molly KC (New Jersey) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-0001 | IM-NJ-0012-9000
LoCicero, Jeanne (New Jersey) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-0001 | IM-NJ-0012-9000
Mathur, Suchita (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-0001
Padmanabhan, Aadhithi (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-0001
Pont, Amy Rebecca (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-0001 | IM-NJ-0012-9000
Tan, Michael (Connecticut) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Hajdarpasic, Enes (New Jersey) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-9000
Kuruvilla, Ben (New Jersey) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-9000
Ruymann, John Andrew (New Jersey) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-9000
Silagi, Alex D (New Jersey) show/hide docs
IM-NJ-0012-9000

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