University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name D.A.M. v. Barr IM-DC-0082
Docket / Court 20-cv-1321 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit was filed in response to deportation procedures in South Texas, in light of the pandemic. The plaintiffs argued that the current deportation process would subject them to a risk of COVID-19 and then return them to countries unable to care for their health needs ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit was filed in response to deportation procedures in South Texas, in light of the pandemic. The plaintiffs argued that the current deportation process would subject them to a risk of COVID-19 and then return them to countries unable to care for their health needs. The court denied to enter a temporary restraining order on July 23, 2020.


This lawsuit, and the accompanying petition for writ of habeas corpus, was filed on May 18, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The petitioners were scores of immigrants subject to deportation and held in either South Texas Family Residential Facility in Dilley, Texas or Berks County Residential Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania. Represented by private counsel and attorneys from Rapid Defense Network, they brought this suit and petition against Attorney General William Barr and Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf. The complaint argues that the process and act of deporting the plaintiffs during COVID-19 was illegal on several grounds. First, petitioners argued that such an action would violate both their substantive and procedural due process rights, arguing that deportation proceedings would subject them to risk of contracting COVID-19 to then be deported to a country with insufficient resources to handle it. Second, they argue that deportation would violate the state-created doctrine, which represents a violation of substantive due process. This was because respondents would be forcing petitioners into confined spaces like buses or airplanes without screening or proper social distancing measures. To the third count, petitioners argued that their deportation amidst the pandemic would be a breach of the respondents' special duty owed to them as a result of the government having custody over the petitioners. Finally, the petitioners argued that the respondents would be in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and the Accardi doctrine, which mandates that agencies follow their own self-imposed rules. Since ICE had previously established rules requiring the facilities to comply with CDC guidelines, which included foregoing international travel. The petitioners sought declaratory relief and injunctive relief that would deem their deportations illegal and stay their removals until further order of the court. They also sought attorneys' fees and costs.

The case was assigned to Judge Carl J. Nichols, then reassigned to Judge Christopher R. Cooper.

On July 23, 2020, the court denied the petitioners' motion for a temporary restraining order. The court found that the petitioners were not likely to succeed on the merits. According to Judge Cooper, while the petitioners did have due process rights despite being in the country illegally, the act of deporting them during the pandemic did not represent a violation of that due process. Judge Cooper found that the government had a legitimate interest in the enforcement of immigration laws, and that the deportations were rationally related to that interest. The court also denied that the government was forbidden from deporting petitioners under Accardi. The court wrote that Accardi only applies to procedural due process, whereas the CDC guidelines that petitioners wanted the government to abide by were merely substantive guidelines. 2020 WL 4218003.

That same day, however, petitioners submitted a second motion for a temporary restraining order, but the Clearinghouse does not have access to that document.

The case is ongoing as of July 30, 2020.

Jack Hibbard - 07/30/2020


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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
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Confinement/isolation
Habeas Corpus
Juveniles
Placement in detention facilities
Sanitation / living conditions
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - procedure
Detention - conditions
Detention - procedures
Family
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Mitigation Denied
COVID-19 Mitigation Requested
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.
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Defendant(s) Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf
Attorney General William Barr
Plaintiff Description Scores of families facing deportation
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 None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 05/28/2020
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)
Docket(s)
1:20-cv-01321 (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0082-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Petitioners' Notice of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Request for Emergency Hearing [ECF# 6-2 to 6-6]
IM-DC-0082-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/18/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 33] (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0082-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/23/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 34] (2020 WL 4218003) (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0082-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/23/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Cooper, Christopher Reid (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0082-0002 | IM-DC-0082-0003 | IM-DC-0082-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barringer, Steven G. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0082-0001 | IM-DC-0082-9000
Copeland, Gregory Paul (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0082-0001 | IM-DC-0082-9000
Gillman, Sarah Telo (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0082-0001 | IM-DC-0082-9000
Heller, Caroline (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0082-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Hair, Christopher Charles (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0082-9000
Reuveni, Erez (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0082-9000

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