Plaintiff who was sitting down eating her lunch in a public area before her work shift was arrested by two Frederick County, Maryland Deputy Sheriffs based upon a civil immigration warrant. She was arrested and held in a local jail, before being transferred to U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) detention facility where she was detained for 46 days away from her then one-year old U.S. Citizen child, before being paroled for humanitarian reasons. Complaint was filed in November 2009 against notorious Frederick County Sheriff Charles Jenkins and the County alleging that the Sheriff exceeded their lawful authority to enforce federal immigration law, and unlawfully violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Santos’ constitutional rights under the Fourth & Fourteenth amendments to be free from discrimination and from unreasonable search and seizures. The Court bifurcated the case, and after limited discovery, dismissed the complaint against the Sheriff and the Deputies.
Upon appeal, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in August 2013 issued a precedential decision holding that a state or local law enforcement officer’s suspicion or knowledge that an individual has committed a civilimmigration violation does not provide them with probable cause to arrest the person solely based upon a civil violation of federal immigration law. The decision unequivocally holds that local law and state law enforcement cannot enforce civil immigration law and found that the deputies had no legal authority in which to arrest or even briefly detain the plaintiff on the basis of a civil immigration status violation. The U.S. Supreme Court denied defendants’ petition for certiorari in March 2014.
Upon being remanded back to the District Court, the parties engaged in protracted discovery and motion practice. In Fall 2017, parties moved for summary judgment on the remaining supervisory claims v. the Sheriff and the County, which are awaiting adjudication.