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Case Name Abiala v. Barr IM-GA-0013
Docket / Court 7:19-cv-00082-HL ( M.D. Ga. )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Fines/Fees/Bail Reform (Criminalization of poverty)
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On June 6, 2019, a noncitizen detained in Irwin County Detention Center filed this putative class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. The plaintiff alleged that the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) had a practice of setting unaffordable bonds ... read more >
On June 6, 2019, a noncitizen detained in Irwin County Detention Center filed this putative class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. The plaintiff alleged that the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) had a practice of setting unaffordable bonds. The complaint stated that such individuals often remain in detention for months or even years as they await the resolution of their immigration cases, and that they therefore suffer disproportionate consequences that detainees with greater financial means do not--separation from their families, obstacles to employment, deprivation of adequate medical care, harsh living conditions, and inability find attorney representation.

The lawsuit named U.S. Attorney General William Barr, the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR); the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); the Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); the Director of the ICE Atlanta Field Office; and the Warden of the Irwin County Detention Center. The plaintiff filed these claims under the All Writs Act; the Immigration and Nationality Act; the Declaratory Judgement Act; and Habeas Corpus. Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation Immigrants’ Rights Project and the ACLU of Georgia, the plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming violations of Fifth Amendment due process and equal protection and the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Within the complaint, the plaintiff also sought to certify a class of “All individuals who are or will be detained pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1226(a) on a monetary bond set by an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer and/or an immigration judge in the Middle District of Georgia.” This motion was eventually withdrawn, and the plaintiff filed a new motion for class certification on August 14, 2019 for those who are or will be detained on a monetary bond set by an ICE officer and/or an Immigration Judge in the Middle District of Georgia.

The plaintiff also filed a second motion for a preliminary injunction on August 14, asking the court to enjoin the defendants to establish bond-setting procedures that would protect the entire class from unlawful detention based on their lack of financial resources.

On September 2, 2019, Torres-Soto was removed from the suit, and the case was renamed. Abiala v. Barr. On October 8, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and for lack of jurisdiction.

As of May 27, 2020, both the motion for preliminary injunction and the motion to dismiss are pending.

Cedar Hobbs - 10/06/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Bail/Bond
Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond
Language access/needs
Placement in detention facilities
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
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) Executive Office for Immigration Review
Plaintiff Description Immigrants detained in Georgia at Irwin County Detention Center and Stewart Detention Center, on behalf of a class of individuals who are or will be detained on a monetary bond set by an ICE officer and/or an Immigration Judge in the Middle District of Georgia.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
Southern Poverty Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 06/06/2019
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)
  TORRES-SOTO, ET AL. V. WILLIAM BARR, ET AL. Torres-Soto, et al. v. William Barr, et al.
Southern Poverty Law Center
Date: Jun. 6, 2019
By: Southern Poverty Law Center
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Torres-Soto v. Barr
American Civil Liberties Union
Date: Jun. 6, 2019
By: American Civil Liberties Union
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
7:19-cv-00082-HL (M.D. Ga.)
IM-GA-0013-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/04/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-GA-0013-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/06/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 33]
IM-GA-0013-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/02/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Lawson, Hugh (M.D. Ga.) show/hide docs
IM-GA-0013-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brooke, Samuel (Alabama) show/hide docs
IM-GA-0013-0001 | IM-GA-0013-0002 | IM-GA-0013-9000
Degnan, Ellen (Alabama) show/hide docs
IM-GA-0013-0001 | IM-GA-0013-0002 | IM-GA-0013-9000
Hirst, Kevin (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-GA-0013-9000
Sawhney, Neil (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-GA-0013-0001 | IM-GA-0013-0002 | IM-GA-0013-9000
Tan, Michael K. T. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-GA-0013-0001 | IM-GA-0013-0002 | IM-GA-0013-9000
Wang, Ivy (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-GA-0013-0001 | IM-GA-0013-0002 | IM-GA-0013-9000
Werner, Daniel (Georgia) show/hide docs
IM-GA-0013-0001 | IM-GA-0013-0002 | IM-GA-0013-9000
Young, Sean (Georgia) show/hide docs
IM-GA-0013-0001 | IM-GA-0013-0002 | IM-GA-0013-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davila, Yamileth G. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-GA-0013-9000
Wall, Sheetul Sheth (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-GA-0013-9000

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