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Case Name Carranza v. ICE IM-NM-0002
Docket / Court 2:20-cv-00424 ( D.N.M. )
State/Territory New Mexico
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is a class-action habeas petition brought on May 4, 2020, by two individuals in ICE custody, seeking better access to phone calls. The defendants moved to dismiss the case on June 29. No outcome so far.


On May 4, 2020, two individuals in the custody of U.S ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is a class-action habeas petition brought on May 4, 2020, by two individuals in ICE custody, seeking better access to phone calls. The defendants moved to dismiss the case on June 29. No outcome so far.


On May 4, 2020, two individuals in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) brought this lawsuit against ICE and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security. They complained about ICE's restrictions on telephone access--the high cost of phone calls and the denial of incoming calls. Both restrictions predated the COVID-19 pandemic. But they alleged that because in-person visitation had become impossible, the phone restrictions unconstitutionally violated their Fifth and First Amendment rights, preventing communication with counsel and denying their right to legal representation. One plaintiff alleged that since pandemic restrictions began, communications with his attorney have been very challenging. Another pointed to a delay of a month in his asylum hearing (prolonging his detention) because he had been unable to have a meaningful preparatory call with his counsel. The plaintiffs’ proposed class includes "all current and future adult immigration detained persons who are or will be held in ICE custody in El Paso or Otero." Represented by private counsel and the American Immigration Council, the plaintiffs framed the lawsuit as a habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, and as an injunctive and declaratory action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico and assigned to Magistrate Judge Gregory B. Wormuth. The case was later reassigned to Judge James A. Parker on June 5.

On June 29, the defendants moved to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction and the plaintiff's failure to state a claim. They argued that the plaintiffs could not bring claims relating to injuries they have not personally suffered and that the plaintiffs could not bring this case in district court as the Immigration and Nationality Act contains a jurisdiction-channeling provision that requires exclusive review in the federal courts of appeals. The plaintiffs responded that the jurisdictional bar does not apply where claims address systemwide detention conditions that are collateral to the removal process and are effectively unreviewable through a petition for review. They further argued that they have standing to bring the action on behalf of the proposed class and that they stated a proper Due Process claim.

The plaintiffs then moved for a preliminary injunction on August 26, claiming that despite the increased reliance of telephone calls due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ICE's acknowledgment of a need to expand telephone access, restrictive practices at Otero have rendered all communications nearly impossible.

In its opposition to the preliminary injunction on September 9, the defendants argued that because the court has not certified a class, any injunctive relief must be limited to the named plaintiffs. They also argued that the named plaintiffs have not established a likelihood of success on the merits, nor imminent and irreparable harm. The plaintiffs filed a reply on September 23 and on October 6 filed an unopposed motion for a hearing on their motion to certify the class, their motion for a preliminary injunction, and the defendants' motion to dismiss.

Judge Gonzales referred the plaintiffs' motions to certify the class, for a preliminary injunction, and for a hearing, and the defendants' motion to dismiss to Magistrate Judge Kevin R. Sweazea. On October 30, Magistrate Judge Sweazea granted the plaintiffs' unopposed motion for a hearing. The hearing was scheduled for November 17, 2020. This case is ongoing.

Averyn Lee - 09/15/2020
Emily Kempa - 10/31/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Petitions clause
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Habeas Corpus
Phone
Immigration/Border
Asylum - procedure
Constitutional rights
Detention - procedures
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Mitigation Requested
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
Defendant(s) Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description Two individuals under ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) custody seeking access to phone calls. The plaintiffs’ proposed class includes "all current and future adult immigration detained persons who are or will be held in ICE custody in El Paso or Otero."
Indexed Lawyer Organizations American Immigration Council's Legal Action 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 05/04/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
1:20-cv-00424 (D.N.M.)
IM-NM-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/30/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-NM-0002-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 05/04/2020
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification and Appointment of Class Counsel [ECF# 4 to 9]
IM-NM-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/18/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction and Failure to State a Claim [ECF# 23]
IM-NM-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/29/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Response in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification and Appointment of Class Counsel (DOC. 4) [ECF# 24]
IM-NM-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/29/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 29]
IM-NM-0002-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/20/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Reply to Plaintiffs' Opposition (Doc. 29) to Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 23) [ECF# 31]
IM-NM-0002-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/03/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 35]
IM-NM-0002-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/26/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Opposition to Named Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 34) [ECF# 38]
IM-NM-0002-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/09/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Reply to Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 39]
IM-NM-0002-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/23/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Gonzales, Kenneth John (D.N.M.) show/hide docs
IM-NM-0002-9000
Sweazea, Kevin R. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-NM-0002-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allen, Lauren Dowden (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NM-0002-0005 | IM-NM-0002-0007 | IM-NM-0002-0009 | IM-NM-0002-9000
Hosp, R. David (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-NM-0002-0001 | IM-NM-0002-0002 | IM-NM-0002-0005 | IM-NM-0002-0007 | IM-NM-0002-0009 | IM-NM-0002-9000
Kathawala, Rene (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NM-0002-0005 | IM-NM-0002-0007 | IM-NM-0002-0009 | IM-NM-0002-9000
Melloy Goettel, Katherine E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-NM-0002-0007 | IM-NM-0002-0009 | IM-NM-0002-9000
Pavone, Paige (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NM-0002-0001 | IM-NM-0002-0002 | IM-NM-0002-0005 | IM-NM-0002-0007 | IM-NM-0002-0009 | IM-NM-0002-9000
Winger, Emma Curtis (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-NM-0002-0009 | IM-NM-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Anderson, John C (New Mexico) show/hide docs
IM-NM-0002-0003 | IM-NM-0002-0004 | IM-NM-0002-0006 | IM-NM-0002-0008
Lyman, Christine H (New Mexico) show/hide docs
IM-NM-0002-0003 | IM-NM-0002-0004 | IM-NM-0002-0006 | IM-NM-0002-0008 | IM-NM-0002-9000

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