On August 15, 2011, civil immigration detainees filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Northern District of California. The plaintiffs filed under the Declaratory Judgment Act and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") and the Executive Office of ...
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On August 15, 2011, civil immigration detainees filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Northern District of California. The plaintiffs filed under the Declaratory Judgment Act and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") and the Executive Office of Immigration Review ("EOIR") for violating the Due Process Clause. Plaintiffs, represented by attorneys at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU), the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and private counsel, challenged ICE's blanket policy of shackling all adult detainees for the duration of immigration court proceedings in San Francisco. They claimed the policy violated the Fifth Amendment and sought class certification and declaratory and injunctive relief. According to the complaint, ICE adopted a practice of shackling all immigration detainees in its custody, in court, without conducting an individualized review of the need for restraints.
On December 23, 2011 the District Court (Judge Richard Seeborg) granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification and denied defendants' motion for summary judgment. De Abadia-Peixoto v. DHS
, 277 F.R.D. 572 (N.D. Cal. 2011). The court rejected the defendants' argument that the plaintiffs' claims were not ripe, holding that "while the plaintiffs' particular hearings may not yet have occurred, they have sufficiently alleged facts showing a concrete threat of imminent conduct presenting a ripe controversy that can be adjudicated." The court also rejected the defendants' argument that the claims were foreclosed by the Ninth Circuit's decision in United States v. Howard
, 480 F.3d 1005 (9th Cir. 2007), which held that a different shackling policy was legal. The court found that Howard
did not stand for the rule that blanket shackling is always allowed if no jury is present.
On March 20, 2012, the case was referred to Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler for settlement, who issued a number of opinions on discovery issues. On March 6, 2014, the parties reached a court-approved settlement agreement. The agreement stipulated that the defendants would no longer restrain all detainees and instead only shackle those who demonstrated “combative, disruptive, violent, or threatening” behavior. Detainees who were restrained would also be allowed to request that the restraints be removed or lessened. The defendants agreed to monitor their officers to ensure that these terms would be followed. Finally, the defendants agreed to pay $350,000 in attorneys’ fees. On April 10, 2014, the court approved the settlement agreement and dismissed the case but retained jurisdiction to enforce the settlement agreement for three years. Jennifer Bronson - 10/06/2013
Allison Hight - 01/06/2016