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Obando-Segura v. Whitaker

United States District Court, D. Maryland

February 1, 2019

JOSE ANDRES OBANDO-SEGURA, Petitioner,
v.
MATTHEW G. WHITAKER, [1] et al., Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          George L. Russell, III United States District Judge

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Petitioner Jose Andres Obando-Segura's Supplemental Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus and Partial Opposition to Respondents' October 26, 2018 Letter (the “Supplemental Petition”) (ECF No. 21) and Respondents Matthew G. Whitaker, Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Thomas D. Homan, Dorothy Herrera-Niles, Charles Lee, and Donna Bounds' (collectively, “the Government” or “Respondents”) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Supplemental Petition for Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies, or Alternatively, Stay Proceedings Pending the Outcome of Plaintiff's Immigration Bond Proceedings (ECF No. 28).[2] The Motion and Supplemental Petition are ripe for disposition, and no hearing is necessary at this time. See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts (Feb. 1, 2010)[3]; Local Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2018). For the reasons set forth more fully below, the Court will grant Obando-Segura's Supplemental Petition in part and deny it without prejudice in part and deny Respondents' Motion as moot.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Court set forth the facts of this case in its September 14, 2018 Memorandum Opinion. (See ECF No. 10). The Court discusses only facts necessary to resolve the pending Supplemental Petition and Motion. The Court also includes developments in Obando-Segura's immigration proceedings since the Court issued its Memorandum Opinion.

         A. Immigration Proceedings

         On February 27, 2018, an Immigration Judge (“IJ”) entered an order of removal, on the basis that Obando-Segura committed a removable drug offense under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i) (2018).[4] (Resp'ts' Req. 14-Day Ext. Exs. A & B [“BIA Op.”] at 2, ECF No. 12-1).[5] Obando-Segura appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (the “BIA”). (See id. at 1).

         On October 4, 2018, the BIA remanded the case to the IJ to address whether the Government had met its burden of proof to establish Obando-Segura's removability under § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i). (BIA Op. at 3-4). On December 10, 2018, the IJ held a Master Hearing to address how Obando-Segura's immigration case would proceed on remand. (Taronji Decl. ¶ 5, ECF No. 27-2). During an off-the-record side bar at the close of the Master Hearing, the Government stated that it would allow Obando-Segura's immigration counsel to argue that Obando-Segura should be released on bond that day at the Master Hearing. (Id. ¶ 8). Immigration counsel was not prepared to argue bond at that time. (See id.). The IJ then asked Obando-Segura's immigration counsel if he would be prepared to argue bond on December 14, 2018. (Id.). Immigration counsel stated that he would not be prepared by that date either. (Id.). As a result, the IJ issued an order withdrawing Obando-Segura's request for a change in custody without prejudice. (Mot. Deny Further Exts. Ex. 3, ECF No. 27-4). The IJ's order permits Obando-Segura to “again request a bond hearing whenever he is prepared.”[6] (Id.). The Government indicated, however, that it intends to oppose Obando-Segura's request for a bond hearing on the grounds that he is detained under 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c), and is therefore ineligible for bond. (Taronji Decl. ¶ 9). In addition, the IJ scheduled an Individual Hearing for Obando-Segura on March 8, 2019.[7](Id. ¶ 7). The Individual Hearing will be “the final hearing for taking evidence on the merits” of his removal case. (Id.).

         Obando-Segura's detention has now lasted more than two years. (See Pet. Writ Habeas Corpus at 3-4, ECF No. 1). Obando-Segura has twice requested a bond hearing in the Immigration Court and has been denied both times. (Taronji Decl. ¶ 10).

         B. Habeas Proceedings

         On September 14, 2018, the Court issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order, in which it ordered the Government to file a supplemental briefing that addressed, among other things, the reasonableness factors this Court set forth in Jarpa v. Mumford, 211 F.Supp.3d 706, 717 (D.Md. Sept. 30, 2016), [8] within thirty days. (Sept. 14, 2018 Order ¶ 2, ECF No. 11).

         On October 15, 2018-the deadline for filing their supplemental briefing and after the BIA had remanded Obando-Segura's case to the IJ-Respondents requested a fourteen-day extension of time to file their supplemental briefing, which the Court granted nunc pro tunc on November 15, 2018. (ECF No. 18). In the interim, on October 26, 2018, the Government filed a limited response to the Court's September 14, 2018 Order. (ECF No. 13). To date, the Court has no record that the Government filed a supplemental briefing in accordance with the Court's Order.

         Obando-Segura filed his Supplemental Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus and Partial Opposition to Respondents' October 26, 2018 Letter on November 26, 2018. (ECF No. 21). On December 20, 2018, Respondents filed their Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Supplemental Petition for Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies, or Alternatively, Stay Proceedings Pending the Outcome of Plaintiff's Immigration Bond Proceedings. (ECF No. 28). Obando-Segura filed an Opposition on December 27, 2018. (ECF No. 29). To date, the Court has no record that Respondents filed a Reply.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Supplemental Petition for Writ of ...


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