Petitioners were 22 civil immigration detainees held in ICE custody at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center. Each petitioner was "either over the age of fifty and/or [had] a serious underlying medical condition, making [him] more vulnerable to complications arising from COVID-19." To rectify conditions at BFDC, which threatened petitioners' substantive due process rights under the Fifth Amendment and posed a significant risk to their health, the court granted a TRO that ordered the facility to identify all detainees vulnerable to COVID-19 complications and take concrete steps to facilitate social distancing and other CDC-recommended protocol for those individuals. The court did not grant Petitioners' request for immediate release, believing the TRO would be sufficient to remedy the conditions at the facility and prevent irreparable harm.
Jones v. Wolf, 467 F. Supp. 3d 74 (W.D.N.Y. 2020)
Release, Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
Type of Court
Federal District Court
Type of Case
Elderly, Immigrant Detention, Pre-Existing Health Conditions
Compassionate Release Case
Case Tracking Number
MORE CASE INFORMATION
Motions Partially Granted
Place of Incarceration
Name of Facility
Buffalo Federal Detention Facility
Substantive Due Process - Deliberate Indifference (both 14th and 5th Amendments), Substantive Due Process - Punitive Detention (both 14th and 5th Amendments)
§ 2241 Habeas
Decision Made But Case Still Pending
Improved Conditions Ordered
The court ordered that respondents identify those petitioners who qualify as "vulnerable individuals" under CDC criteria and provide them with "a living situation that facilitates 'social distancing.'" The court noted that this may include individual cells, increased isolation, smaller cohorts of vulnerable individuals, fever screenings, mask distribution, and/or limited contact with staff and nonvulnerable individuals.
Motions Partially Granted
The court granted petitioners' motion for a TRO to improve conditions in the facility to better protect individuals vulnerable to COVID-19 due to age or pre-existing health conditions. The court did not grant petitioners' request for immediate release, believing that the harm posed by insufficient conditions could be remedied by a TRO and did not warrant releasing petitioners.
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.