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Case Name Tenorio-Serrano v. Driscoll IM-AZ-0026
Docket / Court 3:18-cv-08075 ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
Case Summary
On March 16, 2018, a prisoner at the Coconino County Detention Facility (CCDF), in Flagstaff Arizona, filed this class action lawsuit in the Superior Court of Coconino County, Arizona on behalf of himself and similarly situated prisoners. The complaint sought declaratory relief and preliminary and ... read more >
On March 16, 2018, a prisoner at the Coconino County Detention Facility (CCDF), in Flagstaff Arizona, filed this class action lawsuit in the Superior Court of Coconino County, Arizona on behalf of himself and similarly situated prisoners. The complaint sought declaratory relief and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, challenging the prolonged detention of inmates for whom CCDF received a detainer from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). It named as defendants the Coconino County Sheriff, the Jail Commander, and other officials. The plaintiffs were represented by the ACLU’s Immigrant Rights Project and by private counsel.

The complaint explained that the plaintiffs had been arrested, criminally. But then their detention at CCDF was prolonged because the facility cooperated with an ICE detainer request. The ICE detainers asked local authorities to prolong the confinement of individuals accused of immigration violations until officers from ICE took custody of those individuals and placed them in removal proceedings. The named plaintiff, for example, claimed that there were people willing to post bond to secure his release, but they were told by CCDF personnel that he would be held for an additional 48 hours following the bond payment pursuant to the ICE detainer request. Fearing that posting bond would trigger the 48-hour hold and subsequent detention by ICE, he chose to remain in custody until his trial date.

According to the plaintiffs, CCDF’s policy of prolonging plaintiffs’ detention despite meeting all conditions of pretrial release violated Article II, section 8 of the Arizona Constitution and the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs requested preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, to secure the named plaintiff’s immediate release upon the payment of his bond. and to enjoin the holding of other similarly situated detainees pursuant to CCDF’s policy. The plaintiffs also sought a court declaration that the CCDF detainer policy was unlawful.

Because the complaint raised a federal claim, the defendants removed it to the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona on April 2, 2018. It was assigned to District Judge David Campbell. On April 6, 2018, the plaintiffs sought an order to show cause as to their request for a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order and to halt the continued implementation the CCDF’s immigration detention policies. The plaintiffs filed a first amended complaint on April 30, 2018. In addition to repeating the allegations described in the original complaint, the amended complaint also asserted that CCDF’s polices violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

On May 5, 2018, the U.S. Government filed a statement of interest, seeking to convince the District Court to deny the plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order. According to the Government, ICE’s cooperation with local law enforcement in the detention of those accused of immigration violations was lawful under Arizona and federal law. Though the detainer authorized the confinement of an individual 48 hours beyond the time when the individual would have otherwise been released, the Government clarified that the detainer should not, “impact decisions about the alien’s bail, rehabilitation, parole, release, diversion, custody classification, work, quarter assignments, or other matters.” Further, the Government claimed that the named plaintiff did not have a basis to challenge the legality of ICE’s cooperation with the County, because he never elected to post bond.

On July 6, 2018, Judge Campbell denied the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction. According to the Court, the plaintiffs were unable to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of their claims, but nonetheless raised serious questions that required further litigation. The Court reached this decision by finding the plaintiffs’ arguments inconclusive as to whether Arizona sheriffs possessed common law authority to cooperate with ICE without explicit statutory authorization. However, the Court also held that local law enforcement officers’ unilateral authority to prolong the detention of an individual on immigration grounds absent a formalized agreement with the federal government was a serious question demanding further litigation. Because both the plaintiffs and the Government would sustain significant hardships on account of the absence or presence of court interference, the Court concluded that a preliminary injunction would not be appropriate relief in this case. 324 F.Supp.3d 1053.

On July 30, 2018, the plaintiffs moved to dismiss the case, to which the defendants provided no objection. According to plaintiffs’ counsel (as reported in local news sources), the denial of the preliminary injunction made the dismissal necessary. They explained that continuing to fight the case would result in their client spending another six months to a year in jail. The Court granted the motion, dismissing the case as to the defendants without prejudice. The case is now closed.

Charles Baeder - 10/18/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Bail/Bond
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Immigration/Border
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Coconino County
Plaintiff Description All current and future pre-trial detainees of Coconino County Detention Facility who currently are or will be the subject(s) of an ICE detainer request.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Filing Year 2018
Case Closing Year 2018
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:18-cv-08075 (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0026-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/20/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 18]
IM-AZ-0026-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/30/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement of Interest of the United States [ECF# 41]
IM-AZ-0026-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/19/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Re:Tenorio-Serrano v. Driscoll [ECF# 47]
IM-AZ-0026-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/04/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order - Denial of Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 57] (324 F.Supp.3d 1053) (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0026-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/06/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Bade, Bridget Shelton (Ninth Circuit) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-9000
Campbell, David G. (D. Ariz.) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-0004 | IM-AZ-0026-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Amdur, Spencer E. W. (California) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-9000
Brody, Kathleen E. (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-0003 | IM-AZ-0026-9000
Gelernt, Lee (New York) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-9000
Jadwat, Omar C. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-0003 | IM-AZ-0026-9000
Mahady, Kathryn Grace (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-0002 | IM-AZ-0026-0003 | IM-AZ-0026-9000
Peard, William Bradford (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-9000
Wofsy, Cody H. (California) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-0003 | IM-AZ-0026-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Ackerman, Justin Michael (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-9000
Jellison, James M (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-9000
Masterson, John T. (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-9000
Molinario, Michele (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-9000
Other Lawyers Bingham, Lauren Crowell (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-0001
Genova, Francesca (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-0001
GilBride, Eileen Dennis (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-9000
Peachey, William Charles (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-0001
Readler, Chad Andrew (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-0001
Reuveni, Erez (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0026-0001

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