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Case Name Romero v. Evans IM-VA-0009
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-754 ( E.D. Va. )
State/Territory Virginia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
This case is about an immigration detainee's access to bond hearings under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when that person has been placed in withholding-only proceedings—meaning the person is in custody after either an Immigration Judge (IJ) or asylum officer determined the petitioner ... read more >
This case is about an immigration detainee's access to bond hearings under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when that person has been placed in withholding-only proceedings—meaning the person is in custody after either an Immigration Judge (IJ) or asylum officer determined the petitioner has a reasonable fear of persecution/torture if they are deported. The case turned on whether the petitioners were detained under 8 U.S.C. §1226(a)—in which case they would be entitled to a bond hearing or release—or detained under 8 U.S.C. §1231, in which case they would not.

The petitioners were all natives and citizens of Guatemala or El Salvador being held by ICE in immigration proceedings. Each had entered the US without authorization, been removed to their native countries, had subsequently returned to the US and been placed in withholding-only proceedings. The petitioners were represented by the Legal Aid Justice Center and the Yacub Law Firm. The petitioners filed a writ of habeas corpus on June 29, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, arguing that they were being detained under 8 U.S.C. §1226(a) and were thus entitled to a bond hearing or release. An amended petition seeking class-action certification was filed on July 31. Both the petitioners and the government moved for summary judgment, the petitioners on August 15, 2017, and the government on September 8.

In a memorandum opinion from November 17, Judge Leonie M. Brinkema denied the government's motion for summary judgment and granted the petitioner's motion. Judge Brinkema found that the wording of §1226(a) focused on a concrete determination of whether detainees would actually be removed—since the petitioners in this case had yet to face such a determination, Judge Brinkema reasoned that §1226(a) applied to them and thus that petitioners were entitled to bond hearings or release. 280 F. Supp. 3d 835.

The government appealed to the Fourth Circuit on January 12, 2018. The Fourth Circuit consolidated this appeal with an appeal from a very similar case, Diaz v. Hott. On October 10, 2019, upon review of the district court’s analysis of the relevant statutes and the wording of the statutes themselves, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the lower court holdings in both cases and ruled in favor of the petitioners. 940 F.3d 867.

The government petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari on January 21, 2020. The Supreme Court granted certiorari on June 15, 2020 and designated the case Johnson v. Guzman Chavez. 141 S.Ct. 107.

On June 29, 2021, the Supreme Court reversed the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and ruled in favor of the government. First, the Court held that § 1231 of the INA is the provision which applies to immigration detainees who sought to withhold removal proceedings based on fear of persecution if deported. Second, the Court held that § 1231 of the INA doesn’t allow individualized bond hearings, and that therefore, petitioners are not entitled to such hearings. 141 S.Ct. 2271.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the government ended the case in favor of the government.

John Duffield - 07/06/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond
Habeas Corpus
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Immigration/Border
Asylum - procedure
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are each immigration detainees who had been deported to their native countries, had returned to the US out of fear of potential harm in their native countries, and had been found by USCIS to have had a reasonable fear of harm/death if deported again.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 06/29/2017
Case Closing Year 2021
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing IM-VA-0010 : Diaz v. Hott (E.D. Va.)
Additional Resources
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  Johnson v. Guzman Chavez
Oyez
Date: Jun. 29, 2021
By: Oyez
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Johnson v. Guzman Chavez
SCOTUSBlog
Date: Jun. 29, 2021
By: SCOTUSBlog
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Johnson v. Guzman Chavez
ScotusBlog
Date: May 17, 2021
By: SCOTUS Blog
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
E.D. Va.
08/24/2021
1:17-cv-00754-LMB-JFA
IM-VA-0009-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
E.D. Va.
11/17/2017
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 41] (280 F.Supp.3d 835)
IM-VA-0009-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Va.
01/12/2018
Notice of Appeal [ECF# 50]
IM-VA-0009-0007.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
10/10/2019
Opinion (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit) (940 F.3d 867)
IM-VA-0009-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Source: State Court Website
U.S. Supreme Court
01/17/2020
Petition for a Writ of Certiorari
IM-VA-0009-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: Supreme Court website
U.S. Supreme Court
04/22/2020
Brief in Opposition (Petition for a Writ of Certiorari)
IM-VA-0009-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: Supreme Court website
U.S. Supreme Court
05/14/2020
Reply Brief for Petitioners (Petition for a Writ of Certiorari)
IM-VA-0009-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: Supreme Court website
show all people docs
Judges Anderson, John F. (E.D. Va.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-9000
Brinkema, Leonie M. (E.D. Va.) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0001 | IM-VA-0009-9000
Floyd, Henry Franklin (D.S.C., Fourth Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0002
Harris, Pamela Ann (Fourth Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0002
Peachey, William Charles Court not on record show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0007
Richardson, Julius Ness (Fourth Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Hughes, Paul W. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0004
Kimberly, Michael B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0004
Lyons-Berg, Andrew A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0004
Marritz, Nicholas Cooper (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-9000
McFarland, Rachel Colleen (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0004 | IM-VA-0009-9000
Rahman, Anam (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-9000
Sandoval-Moshenberg, Simon (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0004 | IM-VA-0009-9000
Stevens, Mark Alastair (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0004 | IM-VA-0009-9000
Yacub, Ivan (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Boente, Dana J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0007
Fascett, Lauren E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0003
Francisco, Noel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0003 | IM-VA-0009-0005
Hunt, Joseph H. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0003
Kneedler, Edwin S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0003
Kuhn, Craig (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0007
McCotter, R. Trent (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0007 | IM-VA-0009-9000
Readler, Chad Andrew (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0007
Steffens-Guzman, Gladys (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0007
Suri, Vivek (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0003
Ward, Brian Christopher (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0003 | IM-VA-0009-0007
Westwater, Gisela Ann (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-VA-0009-0007

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