Lopez-Aguilar v. Marion Cnty. Sheriff's Dep't, No. 1:16–cv–02457–SEB–TAB

CourtUnited States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Indiana)
Writing for the CourtSARAH EVANS BARKER, JUDGE
Citation296 F.Supp.3d 959
Parties Antonio LOPEZ–AGUILAR, Plaintiff, v. MARION COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, Marion County Sheriff John R. Layton, in his official capacity and his individual capacity, Marion County Sheriff's Sergeant Davis, in his individual capacity, Defendants. United States of America, Interested Party.
Decision Date07 November 2017
Docket NumberNo. 1:16–cv–02457–SEB–TAB

296 F.Supp.3d 959

Antonio LOPEZ–AGUILAR, Plaintiff,
v.
MARION COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, Marion County Sheriff John R. Layton, in his official capacity and his individual capacity, Marion County Sheriff's Sergeant Davis, in his individual capacity, Defendants.


United States of America, Interested Party.

No. 1:16–cv–02457–SEB–TAB

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division.

Signed November 7, 2017


296 F.Supp.3d 963

Jan P. Mensz, Gavin Minor Rose, ACLU of Indiana, Indianapolis, IN, for Plaintiff.

Andrew J. Upchurch, Donald Eugene Morgan, Office of Corporation Counsel, City of Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN, Anthony W. Overholt, Frost Brown Todd LLC, Indianapolis, IN for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM ORDER

SARAH EVANS BARKER, JUDGE

Plaintiff Antonio Lopez–Aguilar ("Lopez–Aguilar") brought a Fourth Amendment claim for unlawful seizure under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Marion County Sheriff's Department, the Marion County Sheriff, and a Sheriff's Department sergeant (together, "Marion County") arising from Lopez–Aguilar's detention in 2015 by Marion County, allegedly under a detention request or "immigration detainer" issued by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Before the Court is a Stipulated Final Judgment and Order for Permanent Injunction submitted by the parties for approval ("the Stipulated Judgment"). The Stipulated Judgment is for declaratory and injunctive relief, specifically, for a declaration that Marion County's compliance with ICE detainers and immigration-court removal orders without criminal probable

296 F.Supp.3d 964

cause violates the Fourth Amendment, and for a permanent injunction enjoining Marion County from complying with ICE detainers and immigration-court removal orders without criminal probable cause.

The United States has filed a Statement of Interest1 in opposition to the Stipulated Judgment. Each party has now filed a response. After due consideration, we find the Stipulated Judgment warrants this Court's approval.

Factual and Procedural History

Lopez–Aguilar's Complaint alleges the following.2 Lopez–Aguilar lives in Allen County, Indiana. Pl.'s Compl. (Dkt. 1) ¶ 8. On September 18, 2014, Lopez–Aguilar came to Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, to attend a hearing in Marion Superior Court on a criminal misdemeanor charge of driving without a license. Id. ¶ 12. Lopez–Aguilar was represented by counsel at the hearing. Id. ¶ 13.

Upon arriving at the courthouse in Indianapolis, Lopez–Aguilar and his lawyer were informed that an ICE officer had visited the courthouse earlier that day inquiring about Lopez–Aguilar. Id. Lopez–Aguilar was thereafter taken into custody by "Davis," id. ¶ 15, a sergeant of the Marion County Sheriff's Department. Id. ¶ 11. Davis put Lopez–Aguilar in "a locked, secure prisoner holding area." Id. ¶ 15. Sometime later (Lopez–Aguilar does not allege how long he was detained after arriving at the courthouse), Lopez–Aguilar appeared before the court and "resolve[d]" his misdemeanor charge. Id. Though the precise disposition of that offense is not alleged, it did not result in Lopez–Aguilar's incarceration or in "a court order requiring his incarceration." Id. ¶ 16.

Following the hearing, Davis again took Lopez–Aguilar into custody, informing him that he would be held until he could be transferred to ICE's custody. Id. ¶ 17. Lopez–Aguilar was transported directly to the Marion County jail and held there until the next day, September 19, 2014, when he was transferred to ICE's custody. Id. ¶ 23. Lopez–Aguilar was not charged with any crime nor taken before any judicial officer, id. ¶ 18, and Marion County had no independent cause to seize or hold Lopez–Aguilar. Id. ¶ 19. Sometime after ICE took custody of him (Lopez–Aguilar does not allege precisely when), ICE released Lopez–Aguilar on his own recognizance. Id. ¶ 23. An "immigration case" of unspecified character was pending against him at the time his complaint was filed. Id.

After Lopez–Aguilar was taken into custody the second time, Lopez–Aguilar's lawyer complained to Davis and other Marion County officers, including the Marion County Sheriff. Id. ¶ 20. That evening, September 18, 2014, a lawyer for Marion County called Lopez–Aguilar's lawyer and said that Lopez–Aguilar would be held in the county jail until he could be transferred to ICE's custody. Id. ¶ 21. Lopez–Aguilar believes that the Marion County lawyer "spoke with the knowledge of, at the behest of, and on behalf of" the Marion County Sheriff. Id. ¶ 22.

296 F.Supp.3d 965

Attached to the Statement of Interest submitted by the United States is a document purporting to be the "Declaration of Kevin Wies." Wies Aff. (Dkt. 42 Ex. 1).3 Wies says that he was the ICE agent responsible for Lopez–Aguilar's immigration arrest and detention on September 18–19, 2014. Id. ¶¶ 4–6. Wies denies that a "written [ ]or informal detainer" was ever issued for Lopez–Aguilar. Id. ¶ 7. Rather, Wies says, this case involves "the practice of oral requests made by ICE to [Marion County] to contact ICE if an individual wanted by ICE shows up to court after the ICE representative has to leave." Id. ¶ 2. In other words, according to Wies, Wies never asked Marion County to detain Lopez–Aguilar, formally or informally; he only asked Marion County to communicate with him about Lopez–Aguilar.

Specifically, Wies avers, "[o]n December 26, 2013, a Secure Communities referral based on a fingerprint match was sent to the [ICE office in Indianapolis] for Antonio Aguilar–Lopez [sic ] (herein after ‘Aguilar’) [sic ]." Id. ¶ 3. Presumably Wies means Lopez–Aguilar. Wies continues: "Secure Communities was a program that cross-matched fingerprints taken during a criminal arrest with fingerprints taken for immigration purposes." Id. Lopez–Aguilar's fingerprints had been taken in connection with his criminal matter in Marion Superior Court, id. , and were apparently matched to prints taken "during an earlier immigration encounter." Id. Once a fingerprint match was made, "the Secure Communities unit would send the information to the appropriate ICE agent to determine if any action should be taken."Id. Wies nowhere says what he intended to investigate Lopez–Aguilar for or what action Wies proposed to take. Wies never says that Lopez–Aguilar was subject to a removal order, an immigration warrant, or that ICE had reason to believe that Lopez–Aguilar was removable. So far as appears from his affidavit, Wies's purpose in wishing to engage with Lopez–Aguilar was simply "to determine if any action should be taken." Id.

On September 18, 2014, Wies says he went to Marion Superior Court "and attempted to make contact" with Lopez–Aguilar at the courthouse. Id. ¶ 4. It is Wies's "understanding" that Lopez–Aguilar and his lawyer "purposely arrived late" to the courthouse in order to avoid ICE. Id. Wies asked "a Marion County Sheriff's Department employee," presumably Davis, to notify Wies by text message if Lopez–Aguilar arrived at the courthouse. Id. Later the same day, Wies received a text message stating that Lopez–Aguilar had arrived at the courthouse. Id. ¶ 5. Wies "was at the courthouse and speaking to [Lopez–Aguilar] within 25–30 minutes of

296 F.Supp.3d 966

receiving the text." Id. Lopez–Aguilar "freely admitted to [Wies] to being a citizen and national of El Salvador without the proper immigration documents allowing him to be present or remain in the United States." Id. Lopez–Aguilar further "made no claims to United States citizenship, legal permanent residence, or military service[,]" nor to having attended "school in the United States." Id. Wies then arrested Lopez–Aguilar "within five to ten minutes of making contact with him." Id. ¶ 6. Wies says that he transported Lopez–Aguilar to the Marion County jail; that that the arrest "was an ICE arrest[,]" id. ; that Lopez–Aguilar "was never out of ICE custody[,]" id. ; and that Lopez–Aguilar was held in the Marion County jail "as a federal inmate" under an "Intergovernmental Agreement" between ICE and Marion County. Id. ¶ 8.

Wies's account is disputed by a document attached to Lopez–Aguilar's response to the government's Statement of Interest purporting to be the "Affidavit of Jorge L. Rodriguez," Rodriguez Aff. (Dkt. 47 Ex. 3), who was Lopez–Aguilar's lawyer at the September 18, 2014, hearing in Marion Superior Court. Id. ¶ 4. Rodriguez is "a solo practitioner ... practic[ing] mainly in the areas of criminal and immigration law." Id. ¶ 3. Through his immigration practice, Rodriguez is "personally familiar with Kevin Wies" and believes himself to have a "good relationship" with Wies. Id. ¶ 5. Nevertheless, Rodriguez avers, "many of the statements contained in [Wies's] declaration are not true." Id. ¶ 6.

Rodriguez and Lopez–Aguilar concede that they were late to court, but not to avoid ICE, but because Rodriguez came from a late-running hearing in Hamilton County and because Lopez–Aguilar at first went to the wrong Marion Superior Court courthouse. Id. ¶ 7. Moreover, Wies did not arrive within thirty minutes of receiving a text message from Davis; rather, Wies arrived within two hours of receiving a phone call from Davis lasting several minutes, which...

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17 practice notes
  • City of S. Miami v. Desantis, Case No. 19-cv-22927-BLOOM/Louis
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • September 30, 2019
    ...Hibbs v. Winn , 542 U.S. 88, 101, 124 S.Ct. 2276, 159 L.Ed.2d 172 (2004) )); see also Lopez-Aguilar v. Marion Cty. Sheriff's Dep't , 296 F. Supp. 3d 959, 969 (S.D. Ind. 2017) (‘ "An immigration detainer is a piece of paper issued by immigration officials that purports to command other ......
  • Creedle v. Miami-Dade Cnty., Case No. 17-CIV-22477-WILLIAMS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • November 9, 2018
    ...is probable cause to believe the arrestee is committing or has committed a crime." Lopez-Aguilar v. Marion Cty. Sheriff's Dep't , 296 F.Supp.3d 959, 975-76 (S.D. Ind. 2017) (citing Devenpeck v. Alford , 543 U.S. 146, 152, 125 S.Ct. 588, 160 L.Ed.2d 537 (2004) ; Brown v. Texas , 443 U.S......
  • C.F.C. v. Miami-Dade Cnty., CASE No. 18-CV-22956-KMW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • December 14, 2018
    ...probable cause to detain the plaintiff pursuant to an immigration detainer); Lopez–Aguilar v. Marion County Sheriff's Department , 296 F.Supp.3d 959, 969-70 (S.D. Ind. 2017) (approving the parties' stipulated judgment declaring that "seizures by [Marion County] based solely on 349 F.Su......
  • Davila v. N. Reg'l Joint Police Bd., 2:13-cv-00070
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. Western District of Pennsylvania
    • February 27, 2019
    ...See generally Galarza v. Szalczyk , 745 F.3d 634, 641–42 (3d Cir. 2014) ; see also Lopez-Aguilar v. Marion Cty. Sheriff's Dep't , 296 F.Supp.3d 959, 973–74 (S.D. Ind. 2017). Thus, the circumstances as between Duckett and this case are not sufficiently similar. See White , 137 S.Ct. at 552.T......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • City of S. Miami v. Desantis, Case No. 19-cv-22927-BLOOM/Louis
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • September 30, 2019
    ...Hibbs v. Winn , 542 U.S. 88, 101, 124 S.Ct. 2276, 159 L.Ed.2d 172 (2004) )); see also Lopez-Aguilar v. Marion Cty. Sheriff's Dep't , 296 F. Supp. 3d 959, 969 (S.D. Ind. 2017) (‘ "An immigration detainer is a piece of paper issued by immigration officials that purports to command other ......
  • Creedle v. Miami-Dade Cnty., Case No. 17-CIV-22477-WILLIAMS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • November 9, 2018
    ...is probable cause to believe the arrestee is committing or has committed a crime." Lopez-Aguilar v. Marion Cty. Sheriff's Dep't , 296 F.Supp.3d 959, 975-76 (S.D. Ind. 2017) (citing Devenpeck v. Alford , 543 U.S. 146, 152, 125 S.Ct. 588, 160 L.Ed.2d 537 (2004) ; Brown v. Texas , 443 U.S......
  • C.F.C. v. Miami-Dade Cnty., CASE No. 18-CV-22956-KMW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • December 14, 2018
    ...probable cause to detain the plaintiff pursuant to an immigration detainer); Lopez–Aguilar v. Marion County Sheriff's Department , 296 F.Supp.3d 959, 969-70 (S.D. Ind. 2017) (approving the parties' stipulated judgment declaring that "seizures by [Marion County] based solely on 349 F.Su......
  • Davila v. N. Reg'l Joint Police Bd., 2:13-cv-00070
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. Western District of Pennsylvania
    • February 27, 2019
    ...See generally Galarza v. Szalczyk , 745 F.3d 634, 641–42 (3d Cir. 2014) ; see also Lopez-Aguilar v. Marion Cty. Sheriff's Dep't , 296 F.Supp.3d 959, 973–74 (S.D. Ind. 2017). Thus, the circumstances as between Duckett and this case are not sufficiently similar. See White , 137 S.Ct. at 552.T......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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