Five petitioners held in immigration detention in three New Jersey county jails filed a habeas petition and sought a TRO, arguing that their conditions of confinement amounted to unconstitutional punishment in light of the immune effects of their serious and persistent mental illnesses. After one petitioner was released by ICE, the district court held that the remaining four petitioners were likely to succeed on the merits of their due process claim and had shown a risk of irreparable injury, emphasizing that "the hygiene and sanitation concerns highlighted by Petitioners . . . demonstrate that Respondents' efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, while laudable, fall short of protecting vulnerable detainees" and "declin[ing] any invitation by Respondents to find that an individual detainee must have a CDC Risk Factor for COVID-19 to warrant release from confinement." However, the court nevertheless denied a TRO as to two of the individuals, holding that the balance of equities weighed against release because of their criminal histories. The court reserved judgment as to the other two petitioners pending its review of additional information regarding their criminal histories.
A.A. v. Decker, No. 2:20-cv-04337-MCA, 2020 WL 3969948 (D.N.J. July 14, 2020)
Release, Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
Type of Court
Federal District Court
Type of Case
Immigrant Detention, Pre-Existing Health Conditions, Significant Criminal History
Compassionate Release Case
Case Tracking Number
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Place of Incarceration
Name of Facility
Bergen County Jail, Essex County Correctional Facility, Hudson County Correctional Center
Substantive Due Process - Deliberate Indifference (both 14th and 5th Amendments), Substantive Due Process - Punitive Detention (both 14th and 5th Amendments)
§ 2241 Habeas
F.B.: Grand Larceny 4, N.Y.P.L. 155.30(1) and (4), and related charges, as well as Petit Larceny, P.L. 155.25; O.H.: Endangering the Welfare of a Child, N.Y.P.L. 260.10, and Disorderly Conduct, N.Y.P.L. 240.20; N.I.: Assault 3, N.Y.P.L. 120.00, and Criminal Obstruction of Breathing, N.Y.P.L. 121.11, and Forcible Touching, N.Y.P.L. 130.52; R.J.: Driving under the Influence and Child Endangerment, N.Y.P.L. 260.10(1)
F.B.: Identity Theft, Grand Larceny, Petit Larceny, Theft, Forgery (bad checks), Robbery 3, Robbery, Assault, Unlawful Possession of Handgun; O.H.: none; N.I.: none; R.J.: none
COVID-19 in Jail Prison or Detention Center
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Crowdsourced legal documents from around the country related to COVID-19 and incarceration, organized, collected, and summarized for public defenders, litigators, and other advocates. Created and managed by Bronx Defenders, Columbia Law School’s Center for Institutional and Social Change, UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project, and Zealous. Mostly federal court opinions, but now expanding to states and legal filings, declarations, and exhibits.
This resource is designed to help lawyers, advocates, researchers, journalists, and others interested in challenging, remedying, or drawing attention to the grave risk that Covid-19 poses to individuals who are detained.