Challenging Immigration Judges' Refusal to Conduct Bond Hearings

Palacios v. Sessions, No. 18-cv-26 (W.D.N.C., filed Jan. 17, 2018)


The government cannot lock people up without giving them access to prompt bond hearings and an opportunity to show that they should be released for the months or years that it takes to adjudicate their removal cases. This lawsuit challenges the actions of immigration judges in Charlotte, North Carolina who have done just that: refused to conduct bond hearings for people who properly file bond motions with the Charlotte Immigration Court.

The case was filed as a class action in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina by the American Immigration Council, the CAIR Coalition, and Cauley Forsythe Law Group. On October 1, 2018, the District Court adopted the Magistrate Judge recommendation to grant Defendants’ motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds. In February, Plaintiffs appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

During the pendency of the appeal, changes to the immigration court bench in Charlotte as well as DHS’ transfer practices obviated the necessity of the appeal. On March 25, 2020, the court granted the Plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss the appeal.

Follow this case:

  • January 18, 2018
    The lawsuit challenges the practice of three of the four sitting immigration judges in the Charlotte Immigration Court who refuse to conduct bond hearings—even though they are required to do so—and are consequently prolonging the detention of bond-eligible individuals for several weeks.

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