Immigration Clinic Students Win Victory in Ninth Circuit
UC Davis School of Law students working under the direction of Immigration Law Clinic faculty achieved a stunning victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a March 31 decision that sets a new standard of proof in bond hearings provided by immigration courts.
The client was assisted by Kelly Martin '11, Serena Salinas '12, and Scott Grzenczyk '11. Grzenczyk presented oral argument before the Court last in October 2010 on behalf of a man who had been held in a remote detention center near Mojave, California for nearly four years and succeeded in winning a new bond hearing for the client. The action came as a result of years of research and advocacy by students including Su Yon Yi '10, Layla Razavi '11, and Rachel Prandini '10 under the direction of Professor Holly S. Cooper. Other faculty assisted with moot arguments and legal strategy, including Professors Raha Jorjani, Edward Imwinkelried, Carter White, and Kate Doty. Ahilan Arulanantham and Judy Rabinowitz from the American Civil Liberties Union and Professor Jayashri Srikantiah from Stanford Law School provided amicus support for the case. Sin Yen Ling from the Asian Law Caucus and James Fife and Ryan Moore from the Federal Defenders' Office also assisted with legal strategy in the case.
Students Yi and Razavi represented the client in his original petition for writ of habeas corpus in the district court. The main issue in the petition was the standard of proof required to detain an immigrant after he had challenged his removal order in the Ninth Circuit. The client also challenged the level of dangerousness required for detention and whether the immigration courts were required to provide contemporaneous records of bond hearings. The district court denied the petition and the clinic appealed to the Ninth Circuit and received expedited review.
Yi, Prandini, Martin, and Grzenczyk assisted with the briefing and supplemental authorities. Grzenczyk presented oral argument to the Court assisted by Martin and Salinas, both of whom provided indispensable legal research. In a unanimous decision, Judges Raymond C. Fisher, Jay S. Bybee, and Susan P. Graber held that the standard of proof in bond hearings should be clear and convincing evidence (a heightened standard required in most civil detention custody determinations) and required contemporaneous records of bond hearings be provided by the immigration courts.
"The team of students on this case was exemplary, and their dedication to our client exemplifies the goals of Dr. King himself," said Professor Cooper.