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Case Name Savino v. Hodgson IM-MA-0019
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-10617 ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Jail Conditions
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization (Yale)
Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: A class action for emergency release by noncitizens in civil immigration detention in the Bristol County House of Corrections. Judge William Young first provisionally certified five sub-classes and reviewed dozens of bail applications, releasing many individuals. Then on May 12, ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: A class action for emergency release by noncitizens in civil immigration detention in the Bristol County House of Corrections. Judge William Young first provisionally certified five sub-classes and reviewed dozens of bail applications, releasing many individuals. Then on May 12, he banned further admissions to the facility and ordered universal COVID-19 testing. The defendants moved to reconsider and appealed to the First Circuit. On June 3, the court denied to reconsider the preliminary injunction and also modified it to make the testing of staff at the facility voluntary. The defendant appealed. A hearing is scheduled for March 1, 2021. The case is ongoing.


On March 27, 2020, a class of civil immigration detainees held in two Massachusetts detention centers (Bristol County House of Corrections and C. Carlos Carreiro Immigration Detention Center) filed this federal petition and complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Represented by Lawyers for Civil Rights and Yale Law School's Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, the plaintiffs sued the supervisors of their detention center, the acting Boston Field Office for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the acting Deputy Director for ICE. The plaintiffs sought a writ of habeas corpus, or in the alternative, injunctive relief asking the court to order the immediate release of all immigration detainees held in their locations. Specifically, they argued that they were at high risk of contracting the highly contagious disease, stating that they were “unaware of any meaningful safety measures” put in place by the facilities. They claimed that this violated their Fifth Amendment substantive due process rights. In addition, they claimed that by exposing the detainees with underlying medical conditions to a heightened risk of COVID-19, the defendants were preventing them from participating in the removal process because of their disability in violation of the Rehabilitation Act. In support of their motion, the plaintiffs pointed to other instances around the country where detainees and incarcerated individuals had been released in order to practice social distancing and self-isolation, including Los Angeles, New Jersey, Cleveland, Nashville, and San Antonio.

The same day, the plaintiffs also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order, asking the court to order either the release of the putative class or the implementation of protocols within the detention system. They including as support for their motion statements and declarations from various impacted individuals and detainees. The plaintiffs moved to certify a class consisting of all civil immigration detainees held in either the Bristol County House of Corrections or the C. Carlos Carreiro Immigration Detention Center.

The case was originally assigned to Judge Patti B. Saris as connected with another case already before her; however, after Judge Saris determined that the two cases were unconnected, this case was reassigned to Judge William G. Young.

A hearing on the temporary restraining order occured April 1, 2020 and April 2, 2020. Judge Young declined to certify the entire class action, but instead “provisionally certified” five individual subclasses based off a chart provided to him by the Bristol County Sheriff’s office: (1) 11 detainees without any previous criminal history who also didn't have any pending charges; (2) detainees with nonviolent charges against them who had underlying medical condition; (3) those with nonviolent crimes who didn't have underlying health conditions; (4) and (5) detainees with serious pending charges against them, 17 with serious convictions. Judge Young also indicated that he might order releases very soon, noting "The numerical evidence seems incontrovertible, that the fewer people that are in the center, the greater the chance for health and safety for the people who remain there," as reported by Commonwealth Magazine.

On April 4, Judge Young granted bail to three individuals, and proposed to review petitions for bail at a rate of ten per day. The next day, he released a schedule of the order in which bail applications would be reviewed, starting on April 7 and continuing at a rate of ten per weekday until Monday, April 13, reviewing a total of fifty petitions.

On April 7, Judge Young ordered the release of eight individuals. In the order, he expressed concern that the remaining individuals might not have enough space within the detention facility to socially distance, ordering that to be among the items discussed at a hearing scheduled for April 9.

On April 8, Judge Young granted the plaintiffs' motion for class certification, certifying as a class all civil immigration detainees still held at the Bristol and Carreiro centers--some 148 detainees. The order noted that the Court was not ready to rule yet on the habeas petition or the preliminary injunction, but was willing to "expeditiously" consider bail petitions. 2020 WL 1703844.

On April 9, fifteen additional detainees were released on bail. Ten more were released on April 10. Judge Young issued an updated list of individuals to be considered for bail the same day, with 49 individuals slated to be released from April 14 to April 20.

On April 14, the defendants filed a motion to stay further releases, which was promptly denied by the Court on April 15. The Court chided the defendants for the request: "Compelling issues of individual, institutional, and community health preclude the luxury of a stay so counsel can 'consider their appellate options.' The motion is denied."

On April 17, Judge Young issued the next schedule of releases pending bail, with 29 individuals scheduled for release from April 21 to April 23.

On May 12, the court granted preliminary relief and ordered that all immigration detainees at the detention center and staff who came into contact with them be tested for COVID-19. The court further ordered that no new immigration detainees be admitted. 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83371. On May 22, the defendants asked the court to reconsider, arguing that they had not acted with deliberate indifference. They further stated that many of their staff had shown reluctance to COVID-19 testing.

The defendants also appealed to the First Circuit on June 1.

On June 3, a hearing was held regarding the motion for reconsideration. The court requested both parties to report what acceptable population range could be safely held in the facility. The defendants were also ordered to report immigration detainees at heightened risk of COVID-19, so that it could be determined who should be reviewed for potential release. The court also modified the preliminary injunction to make the testing of staff at the facility voluntary, with no adverse effects for staff who declined the test.

In a memorandum dated June 18, the court gave an explanation to its denial of the defendant's motion for reconsideration of the preliminary injunction, writing: "just as 'the increased rate of infection' does not itself prove deliberate indifference, the absence of known infections does not disprove deliberate indifference."

On June 30, the court noted that the (1) the population of detainees dropped from 80 detainees when the preliminary injunction was issued, and that (2) all detainees, with the exception of a few who refused testing and so were quarantined, have tested negative for COVID-19. The court recognized the risk to public health resulting from transferring new detainees between facilities, including those outside the state. Therefore, the court modified the preliminary injunction to add the following: “New immigration detainees may, upon motion and leave from the Court, be admitted from the criminal wing of the facility, but only if they have (1) tested negative for COVID-19 and remained isolated since their test, (2) been evaluated for underlying medical conditions, and (3) been considered for release by ICE.” The defendant appealed to the First Circuit on August 3.

A hearing is scheduled for March 1, 2021. The case is ongoing.

Elizabeth Helpling - 04/21/2020
Averyn Lee - 09/24/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
Law-enforcement
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Reasonable Accommodations
Sanitation / living conditions
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Mitigation Granted
COVID-19 Mitigation Requested
COVID-19 Release Granted
COVID-19 Release Requested
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Boston Field Office
Bristol County House of Corrections
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description A class of all civil immigration detainees at two detention facilities in Massachusetts
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization (Yale)
Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2020 - n/a
Filed 03/27/2020
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)
  Celimen Savino, et al. v. Souza
https://law.yale.edu/
Date: Mar. 27, 2020
By: Yale Law School
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:20-cv-10617 (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0019-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/08/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus [ECF# 1 (& 1-1 to 1-5)]
IM-MA-0019-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice and Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 11]
IM-MA-0019-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Memorandum in Support of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 12 (& 12-1 to 12-10)]
IM-MA-0019-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Petitioners-Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification or Representative Habeas Action [ECF# 13]
IM-MA-0019-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 14]
IM-MA-0019-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Opposition to Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 26 (& 26-1 to 26-4)]
IM-MA-0019-0023.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/30/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 38] (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0019-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Add Individual to Subclass One [ECF# 40, 40-1]
IM-MA-0019-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/03/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Supplemental Brief [ECF# 41, 41-1]
IM-MA-0019-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/03/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 44] (2020 WL 1909091) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0019-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/04/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulated Protective Order Regarding Confidential Information [ECF# 45] (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0019-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/04/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 46] (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0019-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/05/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Expedited Informal Discovery [ECF# 57]
IM-MA-0019-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/08/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum & Order [ECF# 64] (2020 WL 1703844) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0019-0013.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/08/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 77] (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0019-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Motion to Stay Further Releases [ECF# 82 & 83 (& 83-1 to 83-3)]
IM-MA-0019-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/14/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Supplemental Declaration of Steven Souza [ECF# 119]
IM-MA-0019-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/23/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs Supplemental Briefing in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 150, 151 (& 151-1 to 151-4) to 163]
IM-MA-0019-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/06/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opposition to Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 164 (& 164-1 to 164-7)]
IM-MA-0019-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/06/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Decision [ECF# 175] (2020 WL 2404923) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0019-0019.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 05/12/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration (and supporting documents) [ECF# 185 (& 185-1 to 185-4)]
IM-MA-0019-0020.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/22/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Modify Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 196, 196-1]
IM-MA-0019-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Memorandum Regarding the Appropriate Level of Detainee Population [ECF# 214, 214-1]
IM-MA-0019-0022.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/11/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [ECF# 225] (2020 WL 3529664) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0019-0024.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/18/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 244] (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0019-0025.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/30/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Further Briefing in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Revoke Bail [ECF# 246]
IM-MA-0019-0026.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/06/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Unopposed Motion to Modify Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 247]
IM-MA-0019-0027.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/07/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Young, William G. (D. Mass.) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0006 | IM-MA-0019-0007 | IM-MA-0019-0010 | IM-MA-0019-0011 | IM-MA-0019-0013 | IM-MA-0019-0014 | IM-MA-0019-0019 | IM-MA-0019-0024 | IM-MA-0019-0025 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ahmad, Muneer I. (Connecticut) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0021 | IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Attreya, Rama S. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0017 | IM-MA-0019-0021 | IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Brown, Michael J. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0017 | IM-MA-0019-0021 | IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Butts, John J. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0017 | IM-MA-0019-0021 | IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Curtis, Annaleigh E. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
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Dooley, Nicole M.F. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0017 | IM-MA-0019-0021 | IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Driscoll, Elizabeth E (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Ellsworth, Felicia H. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0021 | IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Espinoza-Madrigal, Ivan (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0001 | IM-MA-0019-0002 | IM-MA-0019-0003 | IM-MA-0019-0004 | IM-MA-0019-0005 | IM-MA-0019-0008 | IM-MA-0019-0012 | IM-MA-0019-0017 | IM-MA-0019-0021 | IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Ferrera, Vinita (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0017 | IM-MA-0019-0021 | IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Foster, Mikayla C (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Howell-Walton, Gary B. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0017 | IM-MA-0019-0021 | IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Nimni, Oren N. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
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Parikh, Reena (Connecticut) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0002 | IM-MA-0019-0003 | IM-MA-0019-0004 | IM-MA-0019-0005 | IM-MA-0019-0008 | IM-MA-0019-0012 | IM-MA-0019-0017 | IM-MA-0019-0021 | IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Pirozzolo, Lisa J. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0017 | IM-MA-0019-0021 | IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Sampson, Lauren (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0002 | IM-MA-0019-0003 | IM-MA-0019-0004 | IM-MA-0019-0005 | IM-MA-0019-0008 | IM-MA-0019-0012 | IM-MA-0019-0017 | IM-MA-0019-0021 | IM-MA-0019-0026
Sellstrom, Oren M. (California) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0001 | IM-MA-0019-0002 | IM-MA-0019-0003 | IM-MA-0019-0004 | IM-MA-0019-0005 | IM-MA-0019-0008 | IM-MA-0019-0012 | IM-MA-0019-0017 | IM-MA-0019-0021
Sellstrom, Oren M (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0021 | IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Wishnie, Michael J. (Connecticut) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0002 | IM-MA-0019-0003 | IM-MA-0019-0004 | IM-MA-0019-0005 | IM-MA-0019-0008 | IM-MA-0019-0012 | IM-MA-0019-0017 | IM-MA-0019-0021 | IM-MA-0019-0026 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Kanwit, Thomas E. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0009 | IM-MA-0019-0015 | IM-MA-0019-0018 | IM-MA-0019-0020 | IM-MA-0019-0022 | IM-MA-0019-0023 | IM-MA-0019-0027 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Lelling, Andrew E. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0009 | IM-MA-0019-0015 | IM-MA-0019-0018 | IM-MA-0019-0020 | IM-MA-0019-0022 | IM-MA-0019-0023 | IM-MA-0019-0027
Sady, Michael P. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-0009 | IM-MA-0019-0015 | IM-MA-0019-0018 | IM-MA-0019-0020 | IM-MA-0019-0022 | IM-MA-0019-0023 | IM-MA-0019-0027 | IM-MA-0019-9000
Other Lawyers Fick, William W (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0019-9000

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