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Federal appeals court rejects immigration bail bonds companies’ due process claims

Federal appeals court rejects immigration bail bonds companies’ due process claims

12.11.2020 | Becca Salamacha | U. Pittsburgh School of Law, US NOVEMBER 11, 2020 02:50:17 PM | 183

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday against bail bond companies claiming due process violations by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in bail bond processes.

The companies, which provide bail bond funds to immigrants, filed suit over ICE’s regulation that only allows a 33-day appeal before declaring a bond breached.

The court, sitting en banc, found that the strict 33-day appeal deadline did not infringe on the companies’ due process rights because the current process is adequate:

Given the multiple avenues for seeking relief, [Plaintiff] Statewide cannot demonstrate the available process is inadequate or that it was denied the protections provided. In all three cases, Statewide had 33 days from the date DHS mailed the notice of bond breach determination to file an appeal. Statewide did not do so. Statewide’s failure to appeal within the pertinent deadline does not vitiate Statewide’s due process right. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s dismissals of Statewide’s due process claims in Statewide I, Statewide II and Statewide III. Statewide’s due process claims also fail for an independent reason—Statewide has not suggested what plausible alternative safeguards would be constitutionally adequate. As the district court appropriately concluded, however, the Due Process Clause “does not require an agency to permit never-ending opportunities to appeal.” Simply put, Statewide “failed to take advantage of all the process due [it].” Statewide’s [Administrative Procedure Act] claim in Statewide II is derivative of its due process claim. Accordingly, that claim cannot survive for the same reason that Statewide’s due process claim fails, namely that Statewide has been afforded sufficient process.

Plaintiffs in this case had filed two other lawsuits prior to the one decided Tuesday. However, the first two cases were dismissed over lack of jurisdiction and a decision on a summary motion respectively. The bond companies have not indicated whether they would appeal.

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