The New York Civil Liberties Union and Equal Justice Under Law filed a federal class action lawsuit against Attorney General William Barr and other federal officials to halt unconstitutional practices at bond hearings in the Buffalo and Batavia immigration courts.

The lawsuit challenges the ongoing practice of placing the burden of proof on detained people, determining bond amounts without considering the ability to pay, and refusing to consider alternatives to detention other than money bond. It aims to reinstate fair, legal hearings out of Buffalo and Batavia and to make sure that anybody who received a flawed hearing gets another.

The class in the lawsuit includes hundreds of people detained at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, New York who have been receiving rubber-stamp bond denials, in addition to hundreds of others who are detained across the country but whose cases are heard through video teleconference in Buffalo and Batavia. 


NYCLU attorneys Megan Sallomi, Victoria Roeck, Amy Belsher, Jordan Laris Cohen, and Christopher Dunn, and Equal Justice Under Law attorneys James Davey and Phil Telfeyan are counsel on the case.

Date filed

March 11, 2020


United States District Court for the Western District of New York



Case number

1:20 - cv - 290