United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
RICHARD P.CONABOY United States Distrct Judge.
Euclides Coronado, a detainee of the Bureau of Immigration
and Customs Enforcement (ICE) presently confined at the Pike
County Prison, Lords Valley, Pennsylvania, filed this pro
se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241. Warden Craig Lowe of the Pike County
Prison has been deemed to be the sole Respondent. Service of
the petition was previously ordered.
states that he is a native and citizen of the Dominican
Republic who entered the United States on June 3, 1989 as a
lawful permanent resident. See Doc. 1, ¶22. He
subsequently married a United States citizen. While in this
country, Coronado plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to
commit bank fraud and conspiracy to impair, impede, obstruct
and defeat the Internal Revenue Service. He was sentenced to
a one year and a day term of imprisonment on August 15, 2013
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District
of New York. After completing service of his resulting
federal criminal sentence on February 11, 2016, Petitioner
was apparently transferred into ICE custody. See id.
at ¶ 36.
immigration judge ordered Petitioner's removal from the
United States on June 6, 2016. See Doc. 6-1, p. 12.
Petitioner appealed that decision to the Board of Immigration
Appeals (BIA) which denied relief on October 7, 2016.
However, the record indicates that Petitioner has appealed
that adverse decision to the United States Court of Appeals
for the Third Circuit. See id. at ¶ 39. As
such, Coronado is not yet subject to a final order of
removal. According to the Respondent, the Court of Appeals
has granted Petitioner's request for a stay of removal.
See Doc. 6, p. 3.
pending action indicates that he has been detained by ICE for
a period of over thirteen (13) months. Coronado's
petition challenges his indefinite mandatory detention
pending removal. As relief, Petitioner seeks either his
immediate release or an individualized bond hearing.
See Doc. 1, p. 16.
response to the petition concludes that "[i]f the court
determines that a discretionary bond hearing is warranted
under the facts and circumstances of this case, Respondents
will coordinate with the Immigration Court to schedule a bond
hearing before an immigration judges as expeditiously as
possible." Doc. 6, p. 6. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court will grant the petition and order that an
immigration judge conduct an individualized bond hearing
within thirty (30) days.
contends that he has been detained for an unreasonable amount
of time while his removal proceedings are ongoing in
violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment
and. 8 U.S.C. Section 1226(c) clearly requires that, prior to
a final removal order, an alien may be detained without being
afforded a bond hearing. However, this "mandatory
detention" provision is not without limits.
Demore v. Kim, 538 U.S. 510, 531 (2003), the United
States Supreme Court concluded that "[d]etention during
removal proceedings is a constitutionally permissible part of
[the deportation] process." The United States Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit has interpreted Demore
and "conclude[d] that [§1226 (c) ] implicitly
authorizes detention for a reasonable amount of time, after
which the authorities must make an individualized inquiry
into whether detention is still necessary to fulfill the
statute's purposes of ensuring that an alien attends
removal proceedings and that his release will not pose a
danger to the community." Diop v. ICE/Homeland
Sec, 656 F.3d 221, 231 (3d Cir. 2011). Where detention
has become unreasonable, "the Due Process Clause demands
a hearing, at which the Government bears the burden of
proving that continued detention is necessary to fulfill the
purposes of the detention statute." Id. at 233.
determination as to whether an individual's detention is
no longer reasonable in length is "a fact-dependent
inquiry that will vary depending on individual
circumstances." Id.; see also Leslie v.
Attorney Gen, of U.S., 678 F.3d 265, 269 (3d Cir. 2012).
Such an inquiry must account for delay caused by errors
necessitating appeal, as well as any continuances or delays
favorable to the detainee. Diop, 656 F.3d at 233-34.
While declining to establish a bright-line rule for the
length of time that would constitute an unreasonable
detention, the Third Circuit noted that "detention under
§1226 lasts roughly a month and a half in the majority
of cases in which it is invoked, and about five months in the
minority of cases in which an alien chooses to appeal, "
id., and as a result, "the constitutional case for
continued detention without inquiry into its necessity
becomes more and more suspect as detention continues past
those thresholds." Id. at 234.
Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in Chavez-Alvarez v.
Warden York Ctv. Prison, 783 F.3d 469, 477 (3d Cir.
20151 characterized the fact-dependent inquiry described in
Diop as a balancing test. It noted that the
reasonableness of government conduct and merit of the
petitioner's challenges are not dispositive standing
alone, and are only relevant when "weigh[ing] the
various aspects of [the] case to determine whether, and when,
a tipping point has been reached on the reasonableness of
[the] detention." Id.
should not find that delay caused by a detainee's
challenges precludes a finding of unreasonable detention
because such a finding essentially constitutes punishment for
pursuing applicable legal remedies. Id. at 475
(citing Leslie, 678 F.3d at 265). However, under
narrow circumstances, when a petitioner acts in bad faith to
delay or stall the proceeding, this tactic may preclude a
finding of unreasonable detention. Chavez-Alvarez, 783
F.3d at 476.
Chavez-Alvarez, the Court of Appeals found that
"beginning sometime after the six-month timeframe
considered by Demore, and certainly by the time
Chavez-Alvarez had been detained for one year, the burdens to
Chavez-Alvarez's liberties outweighed any justification
for using presumptions ...