Though not a published or precedential decision, the District Court of New Jersey recently issued a significant ruling regarding mandatory detention and whether an individual is entitled to a bond hearing. In Demanche v. Taylor, et. al., the Court ruled that the Petitioner, who had filed a Habeas Corpus Action to determine the lawfulness of his custody, was entitled to an individualized bond hearing despite the Department of Homeland Security’s argument and position that he was subject to mandatory detention for having committed an aggravated felony and two crimes involving moral turpitude. The Court examined the issue of what constitutes a reasonable interpretation of the “when… released” language of Section 1226(c) and found that, in line with the plain meaning of the statute, “when” does not mean “any time after” release. In this particular case, DHS took custody of the Petitioner five years after he was released from his criminal sentence. Maybe the result might have been different if the time period were shorter, but in this particular instance, five years did not conform to the spirit or plain meaning of the statute regarding mandatory detention of aliens.
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