University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Dada v. Witte IM-LA-0018
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-00458 ( W.D. La. )
Additional Docket(s) 2:20-cv-01093  [ 20-1093 ]  Eastern District of LA (U.S.)
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
National Immigration Project of the NLG
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: 16 medically vulnerable noncitizens in immigration detention centers in Louisiana filed this case in light of the certainty of an outbreak of COVID-19 in their detention facilities. They argued that their continued detention was a violation of the Due Process Clause and the ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: 16 medically vulnerable noncitizens in immigration detention centers in Louisiana filed this case in light of the certainty of an outbreak of COVID-19 in their detention facilities. They argued that their continued detention was a violation of the Due Process Clause and the Rehabilitation Act, and sought immediate release. The court granted release of 14 detainees on May 22, 2020.


This case arose out of earlier litigation. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, which was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

On April 14, 2020, 16 medically vulnerable immigrant detainees in Louisiana filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Represented by the Loyola Law Clinic, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and private counsel, the petitioners sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials and wardens of the detention centers under the federal habeas statute, 42 U.S.C. § 2241, and the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 701 et seq. The petitioners alleged that their continued detention violated the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause and the Rehabilitation Act. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that, given their known medical risk and ICE's historical pattern of overcrowding and unsanitary facilities, continued detention for civil infractions was a potential death sentence. The plaintiffs sought immediate release, either through a writ of habeas corpus or an injunction, and a declaration that the continued civil detention of individuals at risk for severe illness violated the Due Process Clause or the Rehabilitation Act. The case was assigned to Judge Dee Drell and Magistrate Judge Joseph Perez-Montes.

Simultaneously with the complaint, the plaintiffs also filed a motion for temporary restraining order (TRO), arguing that given the conditions of confinement in the detention facilities, it would be impossible for ICE or the detention facility to comply with CDC guidelines for social distancing. They stated that ICE officials at the facilities where plaintiffs were detained had provided them with little information about the pandemic, that detainees continued to be housed in open dorms and in close proximity to others, that detainees were not given consistent access to soap, and that staff did not wear masks or gloves. Plaintiffs argued that the imposition of these condition on medically vulnerable people amounted to deliberate indifference to their known medical risks.

On April 30, 2020, Magistrate Judge Perez-Montes recommended that the plaintiffs' motion for a TRO be granted in part, recommending that the court issue a preliminary injunction that would require the immediate release of 13 of the 16 petitioners. The recommendation noted that one petitioner had already been released, so their request for release was moot. Additionally, he recommended the court not require any of the petitioners to post a bond or other security.

On May 4, 2020, both parties filed objections to the April 30 recommendation of the magistrate judge. The petitioners argued for the release of the remaining two petitioners, while the respondents argued that the court lacked jurisdiction, the plaintiffs had not stated a constitutional violation or demonstrated irreparable harm, the public interest was not served by release, and that an order of release was not narrowly tailored.

On May 22, 2020, the court adopted in part and denied in part the magistrate judge's recommendations. 2020 WL 2614616. Judge Drell ordered the release of 14 of the petitioners, including one petitioner who Magistrate Judge Perez-Montes had recommended not be released. The defendants were given 14 days to release the detainees.

As of June 1, 2020 this case is ongoing.

Alex Moody - 05/25/2020
Caitlin Kierum - 06/01/2020


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
disability, unspecified
General
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Habeas Corpus
Immigration/Border
Detention - conditions
Detention - procedures
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 Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
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) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Plaintiff Description 16 medically vulnerable people detained in ICE facilities in Louisiana
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
National Immigration Project of the NLG
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Habeas relief
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2020 - n/a
Filed 04/14/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-LA-0019 : Dada v. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (E.D. La.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Dada v. Witte (WDLa)
Center for Constitutional Rights
Date: Apr. 14, 2020
By: Center for Constitutional Rights
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:20-cv-00458 (W.D. La.)
IM-LA-0018-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/22/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus and Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-LA-0018-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/14/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Law in Support of their Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 2-2, 2-20 & 2-21]
IM-LA-0018-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/14/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion for Briefing Schedule [ECF# 6] (W.D. La.)
IM-LA-0018-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/20/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum in Opposition to Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 8]
IM-LA-0018-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/22/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Reply in Support of their Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 9]
IM-LA-0018-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/23/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Report and Recommendation [ECF# 17]
IM-LA-0018-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 04/30/2020
Respondents' Objections to Report and Recommendation [ECF# 18]
IM-LA-0018-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/04/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Petitioners' Objection to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation [ECF# 19]
IM-LA-0018-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/04/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment [ECF# 24] (2020 WL 2614616) (W.D. La.)
IM-LA-0018-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 05/22/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Drell, Dee D. (W.D. La.) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0003 | IM-LA-0018-9000
Perez-Montes, Joseph H. L. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0001 | IM-LA-0018-0002 | IM-LA-0018-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Aguirre, Guadalupe V (New York) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0004 | IM-LA-0018-0006 | IM-LA-0018-0007 | IM-LA-0018-0008
Azmy, Baher (New York) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0004 | IM-LA-0018-0006 | IM-LA-0018-0007 | IM-LA-0018-0008
Free, Robert Andrew (Tennessee) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0004 | IM-LA-0018-0006 | IM-LA-0018-0007 | IM-LA-0018-0008
Guisado, Angelo R. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0004 | IM-LA-0018-0006 | IM-LA-0018-0007 | IM-LA-0018-0008
Jong, Jeremy (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0004 | IM-LA-0018-0006 | IM-LA-0018-0007 | IM-LA-0018-0008
Pokharel, Astha Sharma (New York) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0004 | IM-LA-0018-0006 | IM-LA-0018-0007 | IM-LA-0018-0008
Quigley, William Patrick (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0004 | IM-LA-0018-0006 | IM-LA-0018-0007 | IM-LA-0018-0008 | IM-LA-0018-9000
Saed, Aya (New York) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0004 | IM-LA-0018-0007 | IM-LA-0018-0008
Schwarz, Ghita (New York) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0004 | IM-LA-0018-0006 | IM-LA-0018-0007 | IM-LA-0018-0008
Shebaya, Sirine (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0004 | IM-LA-0018-0006 | IM-LA-0018-0007 | IM-LA-0018-0008 | IM-LA-0018-9000
Thomas, Brittany (New York) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0004 | IM-LA-0018-0006 | IM-LA-0018-0007 | IM-LA-0018-0008
Vogel, Matthew Scott (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0004 | IM-LA-0018-0006 | IM-LA-0018-0007 | IM-LA-0018-0008 | IM-LA-0018-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Byrd, Edwin Henry IV (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0005 | IM-LA-0018-0009 | IM-LA-0018-9000
Joseph, David C. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0018-0005 | IM-LA-0018-0009

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -