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Case Name Castillo v. Barr IM-CA-0160
Docket / Court 5:20-cv-00605 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization Public Counsel
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: two immigrants detained pending removal proceedings obtained a temporary restraining order that required their immediate release to protect them from the risk of infection.


On March 26, 2020, two detained immigrants filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: two immigrants detained pending removal proceedings obtained a temporary restraining order that required their immediate release to protect them from the risk of infection.


On March 26, 2020, two detained immigrants filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Represented by Public Counsel, the plaintiffs sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They alleged that their detention during the COVID-19 pandemic violated their Fifth Amendment right to safe conditions of confinement. Specifically, they alleged that detention during the COVID-19 outbreak (1) constituted a state-created danger; (2) violated the government’s Fifth Amendment duty to care for those in its custody; and (3) functioned as punitive detention. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief and a writ of habeas corpus.

The Department of Homeland Security originally detained the plaintiffs in early March pending removal proceedings. They were held in Adelanto, a for-profit detention facility run by Geo Group, Inc. with a history of health and safety violations. Around the same time, COVID-19 was spreading throughout the world. California declared a state of emergency on March 4, 2020, and the United States declared a national emergency on March 13. Coronavirus spreads easily between people in close contact, posing risks to detainees.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, the plaintiffs immediately moved for a temporary restraining order providing for their release. Judge Terry J. Hatter, Jr. granted the motion on March 27, the day after the suit was filed. Judge Hatter declared that “[t]he law is clear—the Government cannot put a civil detainee into a dangerous situation.” As a result, a detainee’s Fifth Amendment rights are violated if “a condition of his confinement places him at substantial risk of suffering serious harm, such as the harm caused by a pandemic.” He also rejected the defendants’ arguments that the plaintiffs must first exhaust their administrative remedies and lacked standing. As part of the March 27 order, Judge Hatter directed the defendants to show cause why a preliminary injunction should not be granted. 2020 WL 1502864.

On April 6, the plaintiffs filed an amended petition adding another individual plaintiff. On the same day, Judge Hatter ordered the amended petition to be stricken and declared that relief for additional petitioners would only be available in separate proceedings absent class certification.

Judge Hatter extended the temporary restraining order by 14 days on April 10 to allow more time for the court to consider whether to issue a preliminary injunction. On April 13, the court severed one of the two individual plaintiffs' claims so they could be resolved in a new case.

This case was stayed on April 24, 2020 due to developments in Roman v. Wolf, another COVID-19 case seeking the release of immigrants in detention. The Roman plaintiffs had obtained provisional class certification and a preliminary injunction, and the plaintiffs in this case fell within the Roman class and the scope of its preliminary injunction. As a result, Judge Hatter stayed this case pending Roman's conclusion.

The case is ongoing.

Timothy Leake - 04/03/2020


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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
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Habeas Corpus
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Detention - criteria
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Release Granted
COVID-19 Release Requested
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description Two immigrants detained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Public Counsel
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2020 - n/a
Filed 03/26/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-CA-0161 : Roman v. Wolf (C.D. Cal.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Federal Judge Orders Release of Immigrants Detained in ICE Raids during COVID-19 Pandemic
Public Counsel
Date: 2020
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
5:20-cv-00605 (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0160-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/01/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0160-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/26/2020
Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Notice of Emergency Motion and Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 2]
IM-CA-0160-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/26/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause [ECF# 32] (2020 WL 1502864) (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0160-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Hatter, Terry J. Jr. (C.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0160-0003 | IM-CA-0160-9000
MacKinnon, Alexander F. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-CA-0160-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cowit, Dylan (New York) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0160-0001 | IM-CA-0160-0002 | IM-CA-0160-9000
Friley, Jesselyn (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0160-0001 | IM-CA-0160-0002 | IM-CA-0160-9000
Hercules-Paez, Elizabeth (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0160-0001 | IM-CA-0160-0002 | IM-CA-0160-9000
Inlender, Talia R. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0160-0001 | IM-CA-0160-0002 | IM-CA-0160-9000
London, Judith Maura (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0160-0001 | IM-CA-0160-0002 | IM-CA-0160-9000
Magun, Kyla (New York) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0160-0001 | IM-CA-0160-0002 | IM-CA-0160-9000
Matz, Joshua A (New York) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0160-0001 | IM-CA-0160-0002 | IM-CA-0160-9000
Rosenbaum, Mark Dale (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0160-0001 | IM-CA-0160-0002 | IM-CA-0160-9000
Savage, Amanda Roman (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0160-0001 | IM-CA-0160-0002 | IM-CA-0160-9000
Skocpol, Michael (New York) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0160-0001 | IM-CA-0160-0002 | IM-CA-0160-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Kaloustian, Mariam (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0160-9000

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