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Case Name Urdaneta v. Keeton IM-AZ-0030
Docket / Court 2:20-cv-00654 ( D. Ariz. )
Additional Docket(s) 2:20-cv-01134  [ 20-1134 ]  District of AZ (U.S.)
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National Prison Project
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is a habeas action filed by immigration detainees in Arizona, seeking release due to their high risk of illness or death from COVID-19. The court partially granted an injunction on May 11, 2020, requiring the defendants to list measures they could take to comply with CDC and ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is a habeas action filed by immigration detainees in Arizona, seeking release due to their high risk of illness or death from COVID-19. The court partially granted an injunction on May 11, 2020, requiring the defendants to list measures they could take to comply with CDC and ICE guidelines.


Thirteen immigration detainees at La Palma Correctional Center or Eloy Detention Center (both private immigration detention facilities) filed this petition for habeas corpus on April 1, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The petitioners were represented by private counsel and lawyers from several public interest groups, including the ACLU National Prison Project, the ACLU Foundation of Arizona, the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, and the Florence Immigration and Refugee Project. The petitioners sought a writ of habeas corpus against the wardens of the two detention centers, the centers' field directors, and the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

The complaint alleged that the spread of COVID-19 put the detainees at high risk of illness or death and that the steps the centers had taken to mitigate its spread were inadequate. In fact, petitioners argued that given the seriousness and contagiousness of the illness, particularly for detainees with co-morbidities, the only adequate remedy was release. The complaint set forth two theories under which continued detention violated the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Under the first theory, the respondents owed petitioners a certain degree of medical care and reasonable safety, since confinement established a special relationship between them. Under the second theory, the respondents violated the Fifth Amendment's protection against punitive detention for civil offenders. Petitioners argued that, given the spread of the disease and the centers' lack of precautions, they were treated worse as civil offenders than convicted criminal offenders were. Petitioners sought a writ of habeas corpus or, in the alternative, an injunction ordering their release. They also sought declaratory relief and attorneys' fees and costs.

The case was assigned to District Judge Steven P. Logan and referred to Magistrate Judge James F. Metcalf.

The court partially granted the petitioner's request on May 11, 2020. It found that there was a substantial risk to the detainees, that the respondents had made intentional decisions by failing to take measures to protect high-risk detainees from infection, that this failure was objectively unreasonable given the measures available to them, and that this failure could cause serious illness or death among the detainees. However, the court did not find that the only available remedy was release. Instead, Judge Logan asked each party to submit lists of measures that could be taken to make conditions consistent with CDC and ICE guidelines. The parties were given two days to submit these lists. 2020 WL 2319980. Also, the court on May 15 ordered that an individual petitioner be placed in a single-occupancy cell without a roommate and with adequate access to hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment. It is unclear from the opinions why this petitioner secured relief.

In the following weeks the parties submitted status reports regarding the effort to bring the centers into compliance with ICE and CDC guidelines. And on June 12, 2020, the court granted the petitioners' motion to transfer Espinoza v. Howard (No. 2:20-cv-01134), another case by detainees at the same facilities seeking similar relief, to Judge Logan. Since the transfer, the petitioners in Espinoza moved for a preliminary injunction, but the parties have become bogged down in ongoing efforts to thoroughly brief the motion.

On July 15, 2020, the Urdaneta respondents appealed the court's May 11 ruling. The appellate docket does not show why they appealed, and the respondents voluntarily dismissed the appeal on September 14 before the Ninth Circuit acted on it.

On November 25, 2020, the petitioners moved to voluntarily dismiss the case without prejudice. The motion was granted on November 11, 2020. On February 25, 2021, the parties stipulated to allow the petitioners to apply for fees and costs pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act.

The case is ongoing.

Jack Hibbard - 07/29/2020
Timothy Leake - 10/21/2020
Nicholas Gillan - 02/26/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
COVID-19
Mitigation Denied
Mitigation Requested
Release Denied
Release Granted
Release Requested
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Bathing and hygiene
Habeas Corpus
Neglect by staff
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Sanitation / living conditions
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Defendant(s) Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
Warden of Eloy Detention Center
Warden of La Palma Correctional Center
Plaintiff Description Thirteen immigration detainees
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National Prison Project
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 04/01/2020
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)
  Immigrant Advocates File Second Lawsuit Asking Federal Court to Order Immediate Release of Detained Migrants Due to COVID-19 Risk
ACLU of Arizona
Date: Jun. 15, 2020
By: ACLU of Arizona
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
D. Ariz.
12/10/2020
2:20-cv-01134-SPL--CDB
IM-AZ-0030-9001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Ariz.
02/25/2021
2:20-cv-00654-SPL−JFM
IM-AZ-0030-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Ariz.
05/11/2020
Order [ECF# 52] (2020 WL 2319980)
IM-AZ-0030-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Ariz.
06/08/2020
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C Section 2241 and Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-AZ-0030-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Ariz.
06/08/2020
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-AZ-0030-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Bibles, Camille D Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-9001
Logan, Steven Paul (D. Ariz.) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0002 | IM-AZ-0030-9000 | IM-AZ-0030-9001
Metcalf, James F. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Balakrishnan, Anand V. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0003 | IM-AZ-0030-9000
Barr, Daniel C. (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0001 | IM-AZ-0030-0003 | IM-AZ-0030-9000 | IM-AZ-0030-9001
Beaudoin, Kristine Julie (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0001 | IM-AZ-0030-0003 | IM-AZ-0030-9000 | IM-AZ-0030-9001
Belous, Laura (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0001 | IM-AZ-0030-0003 | IM-AZ-0030-9000 | IM-AZ-0030-9001
Borja, Aleyda Yvette (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0003 | IM-AZ-0030-9000 | IM-AZ-0030-9001
Cabot, Howard Ross (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-9000
Casselman, Margo Rose (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0001 | IM-AZ-0030-0003 | IM-AZ-0030-9000 | IM-AZ-0030-9001
Cho, Eunice (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0003 | IM-AZ-0030-9000 | IM-AZ-0030-9001
Fathi, David Cyrus (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0003 | IM-AZ-0030-9000 | IM-AZ-0030-9001
Jadwat, Omar C. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0003 | IM-AZ-0030-9000
May, Katherine Elizabeth (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0001 | IM-AZ-0030-0003 | IM-AZ-0030-9001
Ruhl, Katherine E (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0001 | IM-AZ-0030-0003 | IM-AZ-0030-9000 | IM-AZ-0030-9001
St. John, Laura McClure (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0001 | IM-AZ-0030-0003 | IM-AZ-0030-9000 | IM-AZ-0030-9001
Tan, Michael K. T. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0003 | IM-AZ-0030-9000
Thomas, Christopher David (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-0001 | IM-AZ-0030-0003 | IM-AZ-0030-9000 | IM-AZ-0030-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Acedo, Nicholas Daniel (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-9001
Hemann, Lisa Marie (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-9000
Lee, Jacob B. (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-9001
Love, Rachel (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-9001
Morrison, Kristina Louise (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-9001
Struck, Daniel Patrick (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-9001
Other Lawyers Bendor, Joshua David R. (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-9000
Buergel, Susanna M. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-9000
Johnson, Darren W. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-9000
Kimball-Stanley, David C. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0030-9000

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