Jenny Flores v. William Barr

FOR PUBLICATION UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT JENNY LISETTE FLORES, et al., No. 17-56297 Plaintiffs-Appellees, D.C. No. v. 2:85-cv-04544- DMG-AGR WILLIAM P. BARR, Attorney General; KEVIN K. MCALEENAN, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security; OPINION U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT; U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, Defendants-Appellants. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California Dolly M. Gee, District Judge, Presiding Argued and Submitted June 18, 2019 San Francisco, California Filed August 15, 2019 Before: A. Wallace Tashima, William A. Fletcher, and Marsha S. Berzon, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Berzon 2 FLORES V. BARR SUMMARY * Immigration / Juvenile Detention The panel dismissed for lack of jurisdiction an appeal brought by the Department of Homeland Security and its component agencies of the district court’s June 2017 order granting in part the motion of a plaintiff class to enforce a 1997 Settlement Agreement with the government which set a nationwide policy for the detention, release, and treatment of minors detained in Immigration and Naturalization Service custody. In 1997, the United States entered into a settlement with a class of minors subject to detention by U.S. immigration authorities. The Settlement Agreement, incorporated into a consent decree, requires immigration agencies to hold such minors in their custody “in facilities that are safe and sanitary.” The Agreement also requires the government to treat these “minors in its custody with dignity, respect, and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors.” Plaintiffs filed a motion in district court to enforce the Agreement. The district court found that the government was violating the Agreement by detaining minors in unsanitary and unsafe conditions at Border Patrol stations. These findings were based on evidence that minors in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody were held in conditions that deprived them of sleep and did not provide adequate access to food, clean water, and basic hygiene * This summary constitutes no part of the opinion of the court. It has been prepared by court staff for the convenience of the reader. FLORES V. BARR 3 items. The court also found that the government was violating the Agreement by failing to consider minors for release as specified in the Agreement and by detaining minors in detention facilities not licensed for the care of minors. The district court ordered “enforced” various paragraphs of the Agreement and also directed the government to appoint an internal “Juvenile Coordinator,” as contemplated by the Agreement, to monitor the government’s compliance with the Agreement and report to the court. The parties agreed that this court has jurisdiction over the appeal of this post-judgment order only if it modified the Agreement. The government argued that the district court’s order did modify the Agreement by requiring the government to provide specific hygiene items and adequate sleeping accommodations not explicitly listed in the text of the Agreement. The panel held that the district court’s order did not modify the Agreement, but instead interpreted the Agreement’s requirement ...

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