Cooley + Original Flores Settlement Counsel Sue Feds Over Child Detention

Palo Alto – June 29, 2018 – Cooley, the National Center for Youth Law, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, and UC Davis’ School of Law and Civil Rights clinics today filed a complaint in federal court on behalf of five immigrant children in federal custody. The National Center for Youth Law and the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law filed the lawsuit that led to the 1997 settlement agreement in Flores v. Reno

The lawsuit charges that the government is violating the Fifth Amendment by inappropriately detaining children in unnecessarily restrictive detention centers without fair process, unlawfully medicating children without appropriate consents and failing to promptly release children to family members in the US. It also alleges the federal government is obstructing detained children from accessing lawyers and failing to provide due process.  

Flores v. Reno set national standards for the placement of immigrant children in the custody of the government. The children named in the lawsuit have, in violation of the settlement and the US Constitution, been kept in federal custody for up to a year and a half, administered psychotropic medications without consent and been denied release to family members for manufactured reasons or without any provided reason – with no opportunity to review, much less appeal, the government’s decisions. Full details of their situations are available in the full complaint.

The National Center for Youth Law is a nonprofit law firm that helps marginalized children achieve their potential by transforming the public agencies that serve them. The Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law is a nonprofit, public interest legal foundation dedicated to furthering and protecting the civil, constitutional and human rights of immigrants, refugees, children, prisoners and the poor.

Read the complaint

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