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Hope v. Warden York County Prison

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
956 F.3d 156 (2020)


Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Aaron Hope and 19 other immigration detainees petitioned two Pennsylvania prison wardens (defendants) for immediate release. The inmates claimed that because of underlying health conditions, continued detention put them at imminent risk of death or serious injury in violation of their constitutional rights. The federal district court granted an immediate temporary restraining order (TRO), but the government asked for reconsideration and obtained a stay the same day. A week later, the court denied reconsideration, lifted the stay, and ordered immediate release effective until the Pennsylvania governor lifted the state of emergency or further court order. But the order also said that the TRO would expire on April 20, 2020. The government appealed, but the court summarily denied a second stay. The appellate court granted a temporary administrative stay within hours after the district court lifted its stay, but meanwhile the prisons released 19 of the 20 prisoners. None had been re-detained when the appellate court issued its ruling.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Smith, C.J.)

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