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Habeas Victory in NY? - Hassoun v. Searls (Release Stayed)

July 02, 2020 (1 min read)

Hassoun v. Searls

"Petitioner Adham Amin Hassoun (“Petitioner”) is a civil immigration detainee currently housed at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility (the “BFDF”) in Batavia, New York, who seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and 8 U.S.C. § 1226a(b). Petitioner contends that his current detention is not lawfully authorized by statute or regulation and that he must be released, with appropriate conditions of supervision. Respondent Jeffrey Searls (“Respondent”), the Acting Assistant Field Office Director and Administrator of the BFDF, contends that Petitioner is permissibly detained pursuant to both 8 U.S.C. § 1226a(a) and 8 C.F.R. § 241.14(d). For the reasons discussed below and in its prior decisions in this matter, the Court finds that neither 8 U.S.C. § 1226a(a) nor 8 C.F.R. § 241.14(d) lawfully authorizes Petitioner’s continued detention. Accordingly, the Court grants the Petition and orders Respondent to release Petitioner, subject to the conditions of supervision set forth below. The Court further denies Respondent’s request that Petitioner’s release be stayed pending appeal (Dkt. 242); however, the Court temporarily stays Petitioner’s release until 12:00 p.m. on July 2, 2020, to allow Respondent an opportunity to seek emergency relief from an appellate court if he so chooses.[*]

... Respondent has conceded that at this point in time, and taking into account the Court’s evidentiary rulings, he cannot demonstrate—by clear and convincing evidence or even by a preponderance of the evidence—that Petitioner’s release would threaten the national security of the United States or the safety of the community or any person. (See Dkt. 244 at 9). Accordingly, the factual predicate for Petitioner’s continued detention under § 1226a(a)(6) is not satisfied and thus, even assuming § 1226a is constitutional, Petitioner cannot lawfully be detained thereunder. In light of this holding, the Court finds—and the parties have confirmed they agree—that it is unnecessary for the Court to reach Petitioner’s remaining arguments regarding the validity of § 1226a and its applicability to him. ... Having concluded that Petitioner’s ongoing detention is not authorized by regulation or statute, the Court orders Respondent to release Petitioner, under the conditions of supervision set forth below. See Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723, 779 (2008) (“[T]he habeas court must have the power to order the conditional release of an individual unlawfully detained[.]”)."

[*NOTE: The case is on appeal at CADC, No. 20-5191, and CA2, No. 20-2056.  Hassoun's release has been stayed.]