Reid v. Donelan/In re Reid

The clinic represented Mark Reid, a legal permanent resident and veteran living in Connecticut who was placed in removal proceedings and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) based on minor criminal convictions such as drug possession. In removal proceedings, Mr. Reid sought relief against deportation to Jamaica under the Convention Against Torture and on the ground that his removal would be disproportionate to any underlying misconduct. The clinic represented Mr. Reid in his removal case before the Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), including multiple appeals and remands, eventually securing termination of removal proceedings against him.

In addition, the clinic filed a federal habeas petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on behalf of Mr. Reid, contending that his prolonged detention without an individualized bond hearing violated immigration statutes and the Constitution. The U.S. District Court agreed, granted Mr. Reid’s petition, and ordered ICE to provide a bond hearing. Reid v. Donelan, 991 F. Supp. 2d 275 (D. Mass. 2014). The Immigration Judge set bond, which secured his release.  See also Reid v. Donelan, 22 F. Supp. 3d 38 (D. Mass. 2014) (holding that ICE's nationwide policy of shackling detainees without an individualized finding of dangerousness violates the Due Process Clause).

Moreover, because ICE has repeatedly and unlawfully held detainees like Mr. Reid for months or years without a bond hearing, Mr. Reid moved to represent a class of all ICE detainees in Massachusetts (later expanded to include persons held in New Hampshire) held for more than six months. The District Court granted the motion for class certification and appointed the clinic class counsel, Reid v. Donelan, 297 F.R.D. 185 (D. Mass. 2014), and then ordered class-wide relief. Reid v. Donelan, 22 F. Supp. 3d 84 (D. Mass. 2014); see also Reid v. Donelan, 64 F. Supp. 3d 271 (D. Mass. 2014) (clarifying scope of class and relief).

After both sides appealed, the First Circuit issued a decision (Reid I) holding that mandatory, prolonged detention raises serious constitutional concerns, ordering individualized relief for class members whose detention becomes unreasonably prolonged, and rejecting the six-month bright-line rule adopted by the District Court. Reid v. Donelan, 819 F.3d 486 (1st Cir. 2016).

After the Supreme Court decided Jennings v. Rodriguez, 138 S. Ct. 830 (2018), the First Circuit withdrew its decision in Reid I and returned the case to the District Court for further proceedings. The government moved to decertify the class while the clinic filed motions to modify the class definition, expand the class jurisdiction to include New Hampshire, and update the complaint. The District Court granted plaintiffs’ motions, denied the government’s motion, and ordered the parties to conduct limited discovery. Reid v. Donelan, 2018 WL 5269992 (D.Mass. Oct. 23, 2018).

The next year, the District Court adjudicated the parties’ motions for summary judgment. Reid v. Donelan, 390 F. Supp. 3d 201 (D. Mass. 2019). The District Court held that unreasonably prolonged ICE detention without a bond hearing violates the Constitution. This violation, the Court said, is likely to occur at one year of detention. The Court issued injunctive relief directing immigrant detainees whose detention has become unreasonably prolonged to file habeas petitions in federal court challenging their detention. If those petitions are granted, detainees may receive bond hearings before immigration judges where the government will bear the burden to prove dangerousness by clear and convincing evidence and flight risk by a preponderance of the evidence.

Both parties again appealed. The First Circuit held that detention for six months without a bond hearing is not a per se constitutional violation and that the district court erred in providing declaratory or injunctive relief. Reid v. Donelan, 17 F.4th 1 (1st Cir. 2021). Judge Lipez dissented, concluding that a bond hearing is constitutionally required for a person held for six months.

The clinic served as sole counsel on Mr. Reid’s removal case and as lead counsel on the habeas class action, together with co-counsel at the firm of Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks.

Opinion and order vacating district court judgment (1st Cir.) (Oct. 26, 2021)

Response/Reply Brief of Appellants/Cross-Appellees (Case No. 19-1787) (1st Cir.) (July 30, 2020)

Amicus Brief of the States of CT, DE, DC, MA, MN, NV, NM, NY, OR, VT and VA on Due Process for Prolonged Detention and the Impacts of Detention (Case No. 19-1787) (1st Cir.) (February 19, 2020)

Amicus Brief of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Support of Appellants/Cross-Appellees (Case No. 19-1787) (1st Cir.) (February 19, 2020)

Amicus Brief of Social Science and Legal Experts on the Effects of Detention and Removal (Case No. 19-1787) (1st Cir.) (February 19, 2020)

Amicus Brief of Various Legal Organizations on the Effects of Immigration Detention and the Impracticality of Habeas Litigation (Case No. 19-1787) (1st Cir.) (February 19, 2020)

Brief of Appellants/Cross-Appellees on Appeal (Case No. 19-1787) (1st Cir.) (February 12, 2020)

Memorandum and Order Granting Both Parties’ Motions for Summary Judgment in Part and Denying in Part (C.A. NO 13-30125-PBS) (D. Mass.) (July 9, 2019)

Brief in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment (C.A. NO 13-30125-PBS) (D. Mass.) (April 15, 2019)

Plaintiffs’ First Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Complaint for Relief (C.A. NO 13-30125-PBS) (D. Mass.) (October 24, 2018)

Memorandum and Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motions to Amend Complaint and Modify the Class Definition and Denying Defendants’ Motion to Decertify the Class (C.A. NO. 13-cv-30125-PBS) (D. Mass.) (October 23, 2018)

Judgment Withdrawing and Vacating the Court’s April 13, 2016 in Light of Jennings and Remanding to the District Court (Case No. 14-1270) (1st Cir.) (May 11, 2018)

Opinion and Order Affirming the District Court’s Judgment as to Reid and Vacating Its Judgment as to the Class (Case No. 14-1270) (1st Cir.) (April 13, 2016)

Order re: Discovery (C.A. No. 13-cv-30125-MAP) (D. Mass. July 8, 2015)

Memorandum and Order Regarding Plaintiffs' Motion for Enforcement (C.A. NO. 13-cv-30125-MAP) (D. Mass) (December 10, 2014)

Memorandum and Order Granting Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment for Class-Wide Relief (C.A. NO. 13-cv-30125-MAP) (D. Mass) (May 27, 2014)

Memorandum and Order Regarding Plaintiff’s Shackling Claim (C.A. NO. 13-cv-30125-MAP) (D. Mass) (March 6, 2014)

Memorandum and Order Granting Plaintiff’s Motion for Class Certification (C.A. NO. 13-cv-30125-MAP) (D. Mass) (February 10, 2014)

Memorandum and Order Granting Plaintiff’s Petition for Habeas Corpus (C.A. NO. 13-cv-30125-MAP) (D. Mass) (January 9, 2014)

Plaintiff’s Memorandum in Support of Motion for Class Certification (C.A. NO. 13-cv-30125-MAP) (D. Mass) (August 16, 2013)

Brief in Support of Plaintiff’s Petition for Habeas Corpus and Motion for Summary Judgment (C.A. NO. 13-cv-30125-MAP) (D. Mass) (July 1, 2013)

Plaintiff’s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Complaint for Relief (C.A. NO. 13-cv-30125-MAP) (D.  Mass) (July 1, 2013)

Media Clips

Milton, J. Valencia, U.S. Court Rulings Limit Detention of Immigrants, The Boston Globe, July 5, 2014       

DirectoUSA: Derechos de los inmigrantes, CNN Latino, June 2, 2014

Mary O'Leary, Yale Law School clinic wins immigration case, New Haven Register, May 28, 2014

Thomas MacMillan, Reid Walks Free, For Now, The New Haven Independent, February 26, 2014

Peggy McCarthy, Bond Approved For Army Vet Facing Deportation, Connecticut Health I-Team, February 11, 2014

Thomas MacMillan, Judge Slaps ICE, Grants Class Action, The New Haven Independent, February 11, 2014