490 F.3d 143 (2nd Cir. 2007), 05-5768, Iqbal v. Hasty

Docket Nº:05-5768-CV (L), 05-5844-CV (con), 05-6379-CV (con), 05-6352-CV (con), 05-6386-CV (con), 05-6358-CV (con) 05-6388-CV (con).
Citation:490 F.3d 143
Party Name:Javaid IQBAL, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Dennis HASTY, former Warden of the Metropolitan Detention Center, Michael Cooksey, former Assistant Director for Correctional Programs of the Bureau of Prisons, John Ashcroft, former Attorney General of the United States, Robert Mueller, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, David Rardin, former Direc
Case Date:June 14, 2007
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 
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490 F.3d 143 (2nd Cir. 2007)

Javaid IQBAL, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Dennis HASTY, former Warden of the Metropolitan Detention Center, Michael Cooksey, former Assistant Director for Correctional Programs of the Bureau of Prisons, John Ashcroft, former Attorney General of the United States, Robert Mueller, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, David Rardin, former Director of the Northeast Region of the Bureau of Prisons, Michael Rolince, former Chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's International Terrorism Operations Section, Counterterrorism Division, Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, former Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Kenneth Maxwell, former Assistant Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Defendants-Appellants.

Nos. 05-5768-CV (L), 05-5844-CV (con), 05-6379-CV (con), 05-6352-CV (con), 05-6386-CV (con), 05-6358-CV (con) 05-6388-CV (con).

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

June 14, 2007

Heard: Oct. 4, 2006.

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Michael L. Martinez, Wash., D.C. (Shari Ross Lahlou, David E. Bell, Justin P. Murphy, Matthew F. Scarlato, Crowell & Moring LLP, Washington, DC, on the brief), for Defendant-Appellant Hasty.

Gregory G. Garre, Deputy Solicitor Gen., Dept. of Justice, Washington, DC (Peter D. Keisler, Asst. Atty. Gen., Gregory G. Katsas, Deputy Asst. Atty. Gen., Kannon K. Shanmugam, Asst. to the Solicitor Gen., Barbara L. Herwig, Robert M. Loeb, Dept. of Justice, Washington, DC; Dennis C. Barghaan, Richard W. Sponseller, Larry Lee Gregg, Asst. U.S. Attys., Alexandria, VA.; R. Craig Lawrence, Asst. U.S. Atty., Washington, DC, on the brief), for Defendants-Appellants Ashcroft and Mueller.

Mark E. Nagle, Troutman Sanders LLP, Wash., D.C. (William E. Lawler, III, Cheryl A. Curtis, Nashiba D. Boyd, Vinson & Elkins, L.L.P., Washington, DC; Raymond R. Granger, New York, N.Y., on the brief), for Defendants-Appellants Sawyer, Cooksey, and Rardin.

Lauren J. Resnick, New York, N.Y. (Fernando A. Bohorquez, Jr., Baker & Hostetler, LLP, New York, N.Y.; Leslie R. Caldwell, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, New York, N.Y., on the brief), for Defendants-Appellants Rolince and Maxwell.

Alexander A. Reinert, New York, N.Y. (Keith M. Donoghue, Elizabeth L. Koob, Joan Magoolaghan, Koob & Magoolaghan, New York, N.Y.; Haeyoung Yoon, Urban

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Justice Center, New York, N.Y.; Mamoni Bhattacharyya, David Ball, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, New York, N.Y., on the brief), for Plaintiff-Appellee Iqbal.

(Anil Kalhan, New York, N.Y., for amici curiae Civil Rights Organizations in support of Plaintiff-Appellee.).

(Michael J. Wishnie, New York, N.Y., for amici curiae Individuals and Religious Organizations in support of Plaintiff-Appellee.).

Before: NEWMAN, CABRANES, and SACK, Circuit Judges.

JON O. NEWMAN, Circuit Judge.

These interlocutory appeals present several issues concerning the defense of qualified immunity in the aftermath of the events of 9/11. Several current and former government officials from the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), and the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") appeal from the September 27, 2005, Order of the District Court for the Eastern District of New York (John Gleeson, District Judge) denying in part their motions to dismiss on the ground of qualified immunity. See Elmaghraby v. Ashcroft, No. 04 CV 1409, 2005 WL 2375202 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 27, 2005) (" Dist.Ct.op."). Plaintiff-Appellee Javaid Iqbal alleges that the Defendants-Appellants took a series of unconstitutional actions against him in connection with his confinement under harsh conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center ("MDC") in Brooklyn, after separation from the general prison population. We conclude that the defense of qualified immunity, to the extent rejected by the District Court, cannot be sustained as to any Defendants at this preliminary stage of the litigation except as to the claim of violation of procedural due process rights, and we therefore affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

Background

Parties.

Iqbal is a Muslim Pakistani currently residing in Pakistan. Iqbal's co-plaintiff was Ehad Elmaghraby, a Muslim Egyptian. After Judge Gleeson's ruling on the motions to dismiss, the United States settled Elmaghraby's claims by payment of $300,000.

Four groups of Defendants have filed appeals from Judge Gleeson's order. The first group consists of former Attorney General John Ashcroft and current FBI Director Robert Mueller. The second group consists of Michael Rolince, former Chief of the FBI's International Terrorism Operations Section, Counterterrorism Division, and Kenneth Maxwell, former Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's New York Field Office (the "FBI Defendants"). The third group consists of former BOP officials: Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, former BOP Director; David Rardin, former Director of the Northeast Region of the Bureau of Prisons; and Michael Cooksey, former Assistant Director for Correctional Programs of the Bureau of Prisons (the "BOP Defendants"). The fourth appeal was filed by Dennis Hasty, former MDC Warden. Other Defendants include Michael Zenk, MDC Warden at the time the lawsuit was filed, other MDC staff, and the United States.

Factual allegations.

The complaint alleges the following facts, which are assumed to be true for purposes of the pending appeals, as we are required to do in reviewing a ruling on a motion to dismiss. See Hill v. City of New York, 45 F.3d 653, 657 (2d Cir.1995). The Plaintiff was arrested by agents of the FBI and the Immigration and Naturalization Service on November

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2, 2001. 1 Following his arrest, he was detained in the MDC's general prison population until January 8, 2002, when he was removed from the general prison population and assigned to a special section of the MDC known as the Administrative Maximum Special Housing Unit ("ADMAX SHU"), where he remained until he was reassigned to the general prison population at the end of July 2002. On this appeal, we consider only claims concerning the Plaintiff's separation from the general prison population and confinement thereafter in the ADMAX SHU. We do not consider the legality of his arrest or his initial detention in the MDC.

The complaint further alleges that in the months after 9/11, the FBI arrested and detained thousands of Arab Muslim men as part of its investigation into the events of 9/11. The fact of their detention, its duration, and the conditions of confinement depended on whether those arrested were classified as "of high interest." Many of these men, including the Plaintiff, were classified as "of high interest" solely because of their race, 2 religion, and national origin and not because of any involvement in terrorism. In the New York City area, all Arab Muslim men arrested on criminal or immigration charges while the FBI was investigating a 9/11 lead were classified as "of high interest." The FBI Defendants were responsible for making these classifications for detainees arrested in the New York City area, including the Plaintiff.

The complaint further alleges that Ashcroft and Mueller approved a policy of holding detainees "of high interest" in highly restrictive conditions until they were "cleared" by the FBI. In early October, BOP Defendant Cooksey, with the knowledge of BOP Defendant Sawyer, directed that all detainees "of high interest" be held in the most restrictive conditions possible. FBI officials were aware that the BOP was relying on this classification to hold detainees in restrictive conditions.

The complaint further alleges that soon after 9/11, the MDC created within the MDC an ADMAX SHU, the BOP's most restrictive type of confinement, to house the detainees "of high interest." The procedures for handling ADMAX SHU detainees were developed by MDC staff, at the request of Defendant Hasty. ADMAX SHU detainees were permitted to leave their cells only one hour each day, and all legal and social interactions were non-contact. Movement outside their cells required handcuffs and leg irons and four-officer escorts. Movement inside their cells was monitored by video cameras. For many weeks, the detainees were subject to a communications blackout.

The complaint further alleges that the MDC did not conduct any review of the detainees' segregation in the ADMAX SHU. Instead, the detainees remained in the ADMAX SHU until the FBI approved their release to the general population. As a result, numerous detainees were held in the ADMAX SHU for extended periods

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of time even though there was no evidence linking them to terrorism.

The complaint further alleges that the Plaintiff was transferred to the ADMAX SHU on January 8, 2002. He was kept in solitary confinement. Until March, the lights in his cell were left on almost 24 hours a day, and MDC staff deliberately turned on air conditioning during the winter and heating during the summer. MDC staff left the Plaintiff in the open-air recreation area for hours when it was raining and then turned on the air conditioner when he returned to his cell. Whenever the Plaintiff was removed from his cell, he was handcuffed and shackled. The Plaintiff was not provided with adequate food and lost 40 pounds while in custody. MDC staff called him, among other things, a "terrorist" and a "Muslim killer."

The complaint further alleges that the Plaintiff was brutally beaten by MDC guards on two occasions: upon his transfer to the ADMAX SHU in January 2002 and again in March. Following the March beating, the Plaintiff was denied medical care for two weeks even though he was in excruciating pain. He was also subjected to daily...

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