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Case Name Abdi v. Duke [later Nielsen] IM-NY-0058
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-00721-EAW ( W.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Immigration Enforcement Orders
Post-WalMart decisions on class certification
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)
Case Summary
On July 28, 2017, an asylum-seeker who had been held in federal detention for nine months sought habeas corpus in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. Three weeks later, represented by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the International Refugee Assistance Project, he ... read more >
On July 28, 2017, an asylum-seeker who had been held in federal detention for nine months sought habeas corpus in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. Three weeks later, represented by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the International Refugee Assistance Project, he and a fellow asylum-seeker filed an amended petition and class action complaint against the Department of Homeland Security. They challenged the federal government’s authority to indefinitely detain arriving asylum-seekers who had been determined likely to win the right to remain in the United States. They asserted that such detention, without parole or bond hearing, was a violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, the Immigration and Naturalization Act, and 8 C.F.R. §212.5. The case was assigned to Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford.

The complaint sought to certify a class of “all arriving asylum-seekers who have passed a credible fear interview and who are or will be detained at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility and who have not been granted parole,” as well as a sub-class who “have been or will be detained for more than six months without a bond hearing before an immigration judge.”

An overbroad plaintiffs’ discovery motion was denied in November 2017. 292 F.Supp.3d 592.

On November 17, 2017, the court denied the government’s motion to dismiss the suit, simultaneously granting the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction. 280 F.Supp.3d 373. The injunction required the government to give detainees access to parole procedures as described in Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Directive 11002.1. Additionally, relying on the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning in Jennings v. Rodriguez, reasoning which was subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court, the court found that 8 U.S.C. 1225(b) implicitly prohibits indefinite detention, and ordered the government to offer bond hearings to asylum-seekers within six months of their detention. For continued detention, the government must prove at the bond hearing that the asylum-seeker is a flight risk or a danger to the community. In February 2018, the court clarified the injunction, requiring that once “an [Immigration Judge] has determined that a detainee should be released on bond, he or she must consider the financial circumstances of each [detainee] and alternative conditions of release in setting the amount of bond.” 287 F.Supp.3d 327 at 345.

Class certification was granted on December 19, 2017, and the preliminary injunction of November 17 was applied to the newly-certified class. 323 F.R.D. 131.

In January 2018, the government appealed the November 17 orders (Second Circuit Docket No. 18-00094, Jan 12, 2018). In late February, the Supreme Court ruled in Jennings v. Rodriguez, effectively overturning the district court’s November order regarding the subclass (detainees held more than six months without a bond hearing). By consent of the parties, the Second Circuit remanded this issue to the district court on September 5, 2019.

On September 24, the district court granted the government’s motion to decertify the subclass. 405 F.Supp.3d 467. On July 10, 2020, the court directed the parties to submit a joint status report indicating whether the case should be closed.

Virginia Weeks - 11/26/2017
Virginia Weeks - 11/01/2018
Ava Morgenstern - 04/21/2018
Gregory Marsh - 07/11/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Bail/Bond
Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond
Habeas Corpus
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Immigration/Border
Asylum - criteria
Asylum - procedure
Constitutional rights
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) The United States
Plaintiff Description Class: All arriving asylum-seekers who have passed a credible fear interview and who are or will be detained at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility and who have not been granted parole.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2017 - n/a
Filed 07/28/2017
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)
  Litigation: Abdi v. Duke
www.refugeerights.org
Date: Nov. 17, 2017
By: International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Abdi et al. v. Duke et al.
www.nyclu.org
Date: Nov. 17, 2017
By: New York Civil Liberties Union
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Implementation of Executive Order 13768, "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
The Washington Post
Date: May 22, 2017
By: Jefferson Sessions (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Implementing the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Executive Order 13767: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 27, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
Citation: 82 Fed. Reg. Presidential Documents 8793 (Jan. 27, 2017)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Executive Order 13768: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 25, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:17-cv-00721-EAW (W.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0058-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/26/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 38-2]
IM-NY-0058-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/25/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order [ECF# 54] (292 F.Supp.3d 592) (W.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0058-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/13/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order [ECF# 56] (2017 WL 5599521) (W.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0058-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/17/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order [ECF# 66] (2017 WL 6507248) (W.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0058-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/19/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order [ECF# 83] (287 F.Supp.3d 327) (W.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0058-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/09/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order [ECF# 129] (2019 WL 1915306) (W.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0058-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/30/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order [ECF# 151] (405 F.Supp.3d 466) (W.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0058-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/24/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Wolford, Elizabeth Ann (W.D.N.Y.) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-0002 | IM-NY-0058-0003 | IM-NY-0058-0004 | IM-NY-0058-0005 | IM-NY-0058-0006 | IM-NY-0058-0007 | IM-NY-0058-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alagesan, Deepa (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-9000
Austin, Kathryn (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-9000
Austin, Paige (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-0001 | IM-NY-0058-9000
Dunn, Christopher (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-0001 | IM-NY-0058-9000
Gemmell, Antony Philip Falconer (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-9000
Hirose, Mariko (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-0001 | IM-NY-0058-9000
Hodgson, Robert (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-0001 | IM-NY-0058-9000
Levine, Heidi Lynne (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-9000
Mann, Michael D (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-9000
Padmanabhan, Aadhithi (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-0001 | IM-NY-0058-9000
Roeck, Victoria Marie (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hirst, Kevin (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-9000
Murley, Nicole N. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-9000
Peoples, Tashiba Monique (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-9000
Weintraub, J. Max (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-9000
Young, Stacey Ilene (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0058-9000

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