Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Zadvydas v. Davis case

Zadvydas v. Davis case brief summary
533 U.S. 678 (2001)

In separate writs of certiorari, petitioner alien appealed an order of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit authorizing his continued detention and petitioner United States Attorney General appealed an order of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit forbidding continued detention of an alien. Both aliens were detained pursuant to 8 U.S.C.S. § 1231(a)(6). The cases were consolidated for argument.

The aliens in both cases were ordered removed after having been admitted to the United States. Immigration and Naturalization authorities could not locate a country amenable to receive the deportable aliens, so the aliens were detained indefinitely. Both aliens filed for habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C.S. § 2241, which the Court held was proper for jurisdictional purposes.

The issue before the Court was whether 8 U.S.C.S. § 1231(a)(6)authorized the Attorney General, in his sole discretion, to detain a removable alien indefinitely beyond the 90-day removal period or only for a period reasonably necessary to secure the alien's removal.


  • The Court interpreted § 1231(a)(6) as containing an implicit "reasonable time" limitation of six months, the application of which was subject to federal court review. 
  • The civil confinement at issue was not limited, but potentially permanent.
  • Also, the detention provision did not apply narrowly, but broadly to aliens ordered removed for many reasons, including tourist visa violations. 
  • Moreover, the sole procedural protections available to the alien were administrative proceedings where the alien bore the burden of proving he was not dangerous.

The Court vacated the decisions below and remanded both cases for further proceedings.

Suggested Study Aids and Books

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Evolution of Legal Marketing: From Billboards to Digital Leads Over the last couple of decades, the face of legal marketing has changed a l...