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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Tamayo Espinoza v. Witte IM-MS-0003
Docket / Court 5:20-cv-00106 ( S.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
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)
MacArthur Justice Center
National Immigration Project of the NLG
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is a habeas action brought by seven medically vulnerable detainees in Mississippi. They sought release from detention because their underlying medical conditions made them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, which they alleged made their detention unconstitutional. The court ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is a habeas action brought by seven medically vulnerable detainees in Mississippi. They sought release from detention because their underlying medical conditions made them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, which they alleged made their detention unconstitutional. The court denied a temporary restraining order on June 3, 2020.
On April 16, 2020, seven medically vulnerable civil immigration detainees held in the Adams County Detention Center brought this suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers' Guild, and the MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law, the plaintiffs sued Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the New Orleans ICE field office and the warden of the Adams County Detention Center under the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 701) and the federal habeas statute (28 U.S.C. § 2241). The plaintiffs alleged that the risks from COVID-19 rendered their continued detention unsafe and that the government did not have sufficiently compelling reasons to keep them detained, violating the Due Process clause of the Fifth Amendment. They sought habeas, declaratory, and injunctive relief.

At the same time, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO), arguing that their detention was unconstitutional and that release from detention was the only action that could remedy the violation of their rights. The defendants filed a motion in opposition to the TRO on April 30.

The case was assigned to Judge David C. Bramlette III and Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker.

After a hearing, Judge Bramlette denied the TRO on June 3, 2020. While Judge Bramlette determined that habeas relief was available to detainees challenging conditions of confinement who requested release, he found that the plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on the merits because (1) the government's interest in ensuring that detainees did not abscond justified continued detention; and (2) the defendants were taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the detention center. So, Judge Bramlette concluded that the defendants were likely neither punishing detainees nor deliberately indifferent to their medical needs. 2020 WL 2949779.

Two months passed without further substantive docket activity. On August 4, 2020, the plaintiffs stipulated to dismissal. The Clearinghouse does not know if the parties reached any private settlement agreement that led to the dismissal. The case is presumably now closed.

Caitlin Kierum - 07/19/2020
Timothy Leake - 11/16/2020


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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 denied
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Habeas Corpus
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Detention - procedures
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Release Denied
COVID-19 Release 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
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Immigration and Customs Enforcement
New Orleans ICE Field Office
Warden
Plaintiff Description Seven medically vulnerable civil immigration detainees in Mississippi
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
MacArthur Justice Center
National Immigration Project of the NLG
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 04/16/2020
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Tamayo Espinoza v. Witte
Center for Constitutional Rights
Date: May 12, 2020
By: Center for Constitutional Rights
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
5:20-cv-00106 (S.D. Miss.)
IM-MS-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/11/2020
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-MS-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/16/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Law in Support of their Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 5]
IM-MS-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/16/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Response in Opposition to Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 15]
IM-MS-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/30/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Petitioners' Reply in Support of their Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 26]
IM-MS-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/06/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 34] (2020 WL 2949779) (S.D. Miss.)
IM-MS-0003-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/03/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Bramlette, David C. (S.D. Miss.) show/hide docs
IM-MS-0003-0005 | IM-MS-0003-9000
Parker, Michael T. (S.D. Miss.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-MS-0003-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Aguirre, Guadalupe V (New York) show/hide docs
IM-MS-0003-0001 | IM-MS-0003-0002 | IM-MS-0003-0004 | IM-MS-0003-9000
Azmy, Baher (New York) show/hide docs
IM-MS-0003-0001 | IM-MS-0003-0002 | IM-MS-0003-0004 | IM-MS-0003-9000
Guisado, Angelo R. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-MS-0003-0001 | IM-MS-0003-0002 | IM-MS-0003-0004 | IM-MS-0003-9000
Johnson, Cliff (Mississippi) show/hide docs
IM-MS-0003-0001 | IM-MS-0003-0002 | IM-MS-0003-0004 | IM-MS-0003-9000
Jong, Jeremy (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-MS-0003-0001 | IM-MS-0003-0002 | IM-MS-0003-0004
Pokharel, Astha Sharma (New York) show/hide docs
IM-MS-0003-0001 | IM-MS-0003-0002 | IM-MS-0003-0004
Schwarz, Ghita (New York) show/hide docs
IM-MS-0003-0001 | IM-MS-0003-0002 | IM-MS-0003-0004 | IM-MS-0003-9000
Shebaya, Sirine (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MS-0003-0001 | IM-MS-0003-0002 | IM-MS-0003-0004 | IM-MS-0003-9000
Thomas, Brittany (New York) show/hide docs
IM-MS-0003-0001 | IM-MS-0003-0002 | IM-MS-0003-0004
Vogel, Matthew Scott (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MS-0003-0001 | IM-MS-0003-0002 | IM-MS-0003-0004 | IM-MS-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hurst, D Michael (Michigan) show/hide docs
IM-MS-0003-0003
Williams, Angela Givens (Mississippi) show/hide docs
IM-MS-0003-0003 | IM-MS-0003-9000

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