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Case Name Castañeda Juarez v. Asher IM-WA-0047
Docket / Court 2:20-cv-00700-JLR-MLP ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
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 (all projects)
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
Case Summary
This is a class action lawsuit in which people detained at the Northwest ICE Processing Center ("NWIPC"), which houses detainees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"), sought their release due to their risk of contracting COVID at this facility. More specifically, plaintiffs each ... read more >
This is a class action lawsuit in which people detained at the Northwest ICE Processing Center ("NWIPC"), which houses detainees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"), sought their release due to their risk of contracting COVID at this facility. More specifically, plaintiffs each suffered from underlying medical conditions that placed them at a greater risk of a severe illness or death ifshould they contracted COVID. The facility is operated by GEO, a private prison company.

On May 8, 2020, plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Plaintiffs sued ICE, ICE's Director and Deputy Director for Seattle, and NWIPC’s Warden. Represented by the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the ACLU, plaintiffs sought class certification, a writ of habeas corpus, declaratory relief, attorneys’ fees and litigation costs. The proposed class included those detained with underlying health conditions and/or those at least 60 years old. Plaintiffs alleged that these class members were particularly vulnerable to COVID infection because conditions there made it susceptible to COVID spread.

The case was initially assigned to Judge Ricardo Martinez, but it was soon referred to Judge James Robart. On June 4, 2020, the court ordered defendants to inform plaintiffs and the court if any detainees tested positive for COVID-19.

The district court initially denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification on September 25, 2020 (2020 WL 5746875), but later granted class certification on March 18, 2021. The final class certified class consisted of “[a]ll individuals detained at the Northwest Detention Center who are age 55 years or older or who have medical conditions that place them at heightened risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 as determined by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.” 2021 WL 1056113

On August 8, 2021, the Court modified its prior order instructing defendants to notify plaintiffs if any detainees tested positive for COVID. In this modified order, the court ordered the defendants to provide notification if any detainees were either hospitalized or died due to COVID.

Plaintiffs sought a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) twice before the court granted their third TRO motion on August 23, 2021. The Court ordered “ICE to test detainees for COVID-19 prior to transfer to NWIPC and to take all reasonable measures to ensure there is no cross-exposure between COVID-19 positive detainees and COVID-19 negative detainees during transport.” The court also enjoined ICE “from admitting any detainee into NWIPC that was not transferred in compliance with this order.” 2021 WL 3782089. The TRO was extended on September 13, 2021 and again on September 24, 2021. The latest extension will remain in effect until the court decides plaintiffs’ motion to convert the TRO into a preliminary injunction.

As of September 30, 2021, this case is ongoing.

Jordan Katz - 09/29/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
COVID-19
COVID reporting ordered
COVID testing ordered/modified
Mitigation Granted
Mitigation Requested
Release Requested
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Confinement/isolation
Habeas Corpus
Sanitation / living conditions
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Defendant(s) Geo Group
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description All individuals detained at the Northwest Detention Center who are age 55 years or older or who have medical conditions that place them at heightened risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 as determined by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National (all projects)
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
None yet
Order Duration 2021 - n/a
Filed 05/08/2020
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)
  Avendaño v. Asher
ACLU Washington
Date: Dec. 11, 2020
By: ACLU Washington
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
W.D. Wash.
09/27/2021
2:20-cv-00700-JLR-MLP
IM-WA-0047-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
W.D. Wash.
05/08/2020
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Class Action Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-WA-0047-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
W.D. Wash.
06/12/2020
Order Denying Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 91] (2020 WL 3163208)
IM-WA-0047-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
W.D. Wash.
09/25/2020
Order Adopting in Part Report and Recommendation and Denying Petitioners' Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 121] (2020 WL 5746875)
IM-WA-0047-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
W.D. Wash.
12/18/2020
Order Denying Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Expedited Bail Hearings [ECF# 188] (2020 WL 7427058)
IM-WA-0047-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
W.D. Wash.
03/18/2021
Order Adopting Report and Recommendation and Granting Petitioners' Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 245] (2021 WL 1056113)
IM-WA-0047-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
W.D. Wash.
08/23/2021
Order Granting Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 370] (2021 WL 3782089)
IM-WA-0047-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Peterson, Michelle Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-0001 | IM-WA-0047-0003 | IM-WA-0047-0005 | IM-WA-0047-9000
Robart, James L. (W.D. Wash.) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-0001 | IM-WA-0047-0003 | IM-WA-0047-0004 | IM-WA-0047-0005 | IM-WA-0047-0006 | IM-WA-0047-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adams, Margot (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-9000
Adams, Matthew (Matt) Hyrum (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-0002 | IM-WA-0047-9000
Cho, Eunice (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-0002 | IM-WA-0047-9000
Fathi, David Cyrus (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-0002 | IM-WA-0047-9000
Herat, Enoka (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-0002 | IM-WA-0047-9000
Jadwat, Omar C. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-0002 | IM-WA-0047-9000
Korthuis, Aaron (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-0002 | IM-WA-0047-9000
Kuhlik, Lauren (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-0002 | IM-WA-0047-9000
Longley, Joseph (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-0002 | IM-WA-0047-9000
Midgley, John (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-0002 | IM-WA-0047-9000
Ngo, My Khanh (California) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-0002 | IM-WA-0047-9000
Shah, Aditi Kothekar (New York) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-9000
Tan, Michael K. T. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-0002 | IM-WA-0047-9000
Warden-Hertz, Tim Henry (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-0002 | IM-WA-0047-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Lambert, Michelle R. (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-9000
Mell, Joan K. (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-9000
Strong, James C (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-9000
Waldrop, Matt (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-9000
Other Lawyers Buergel, Susanna M. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-9000
Gibbs, Robert H. (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-9000
Johnson, Darren W. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-9000
Kimball-Stanley, David C. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0047-9000

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