This is the third issue of the newsletter summarizing important immigration-related cases decided by 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and District Court decisions from Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. The summarized cases are for December 2015 and January 2016. All of the attorneys writing the summaries – John Gihon, Marshall Cohen, Roberta Cooper – should be commended for their hard work. Any feedback from members, including ideas to improve it, would be appreciated. You may contact Bruce Buchanan at email@example.com or John Gihon at John@slgattorneys.com.
Vaz v. Skinner, 14-15791 (11th Cir. Dec. 23, 2015) (unpublished)
The 11th Circuit affirmed the district Court’s holding that the petitioner, a native of Brazil, was not entitled to relief pursuant to a 28 U.S.C. §2241 habeas corpus claim. Petitioner’s argument of lack of adequate medical treatment while in detention fell outside of habeas corpus law as it is a challenge to the conditions of confinement, not to the fact or duration of the sentence as is necessary. The Court added that even if the petitioner had made a proper claim, release from imprisonment is not an available remedy for a claim of conditions of confinement. Petitioner’s second argument of unreasonable detention also failed because he prevented his own removal to Brazil. While the Attorney General has 90 days to remove an alien, the removal period can be extended “if the alien fails or refuses to make timely application in good faith for travel or other documents necessary for the alien’s departure or conspires or acts to prevent the alien’s removal subject to an order of removal.” 8 U.S.C. §1231(a)(1)(C). Although he had been detained more than 6 months (3 years), he could not assert a claim under Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001), because there was a likelihood of removal in the near future. In this case, the reason behind the delay was petitioner’s refusal to voluntarily sign his travel document or inform Brazil of his willingness to return.