On March 29, 2004, a group of 15 plaintiffs, all detainees in the Concordia Parish Correctional Center, filed a pro se class action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and DHS and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in the United States District Court for the ...
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On March 29, 2004, a group of 15 plaintiffs, all detainees in the Concordia Parish Correctional Center, filed a pro se class action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and DHS and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, challenging "sub human" conditions of their confinement. Plaintiffs claimed that because immigration detention proceedings were civil in nature, they should not have been subjected to punitive detention. Plaintiffs claimed that they were denied court and library access, denied religious freedom, subjected to retaliation for attempting exercise their First Amendment rights and were physically and verbal assaulted, all in violation of DHS/ICE detention guidelines. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, including a transfer to a different facility. The case was assigned to Judge Dee D. Drell.
Following the pro se filing, the Court ordered plaintiffs to comply with various procedural requirements, including the payment of a filing fee or request to proceed in forma pauperis. Several plaintiffs later withdrew from the case or were dismissed by the Court for failure to keep the court apprised of their whereabouts.
As of July 2004, none of the remaining plaintiffs were still detained at the Concordia Parish Correctional Center. On July 26, 2004, Magistrate Judge James D Kirk issued a Report and Recommendation, recommending dismissal of all remaining claims. Following objections to the Report by one of the plaintiffs, Magistrate Kirk's issued a Second Report in December 2004, again recommending dismissal of all claims on numerous grounds, which included failure to exhaustion their administrative remedies, failure to comply with the Court's orders and failure to state a claim.
On September 30, 2005, the District Court (Judge Dee D. Drell) adopted Magistrate Kirk's reports in part, but allowed several plaintiffs to file amended complaints to restate their claims by November 15, 2005. Following amended filings, Judge Kirk again recommended dismissal of all claims by order dated January 19, 2006. Brown v. Ridge, 2006 WL 1581167 (W.D.La. Jan. 6, 2006). The District Court adopted Judge Kirk's Report and ordered dismissal of all claims, except for the claims of Rafiu Abimbola seeking monetary damages as a result of alleged violations of religious freedom and his right to the press. Brown v. Ridge, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36824 (W.D.La. June 6, 2006). Plaintiff appealed.
On March 21, 2007, The United States Court of Appeals dismissed Rafiu Abimbola's appeal for failure to file his appellant's brief on time. On remand, the District Court dismissed without prejudice, as Abimbola failed to appear for a pre-trial conference.Miles Chan - 07/17/2007