United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER RE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS RE: DKT. NO.
DONATO UNITED PLATES DISTRICT JUDGE
petitioner Ady Masood has been held in a county jail since
April 10, 2019, while pursuing an application for asylum in
the United States. Dkt. No. 1. Masood seeks a custody hearing
before an immigration judge, which he has not been afforded
during his lengthy detention. The federal respondents filed a
return to the petition on behalf of the Attorney General,
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, and Acting Field
Director of the San Francisco Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) Field Office. Dkt. No. 8. Masood filed a
traverse. Dkt. No. 13. Neither side called for a hearing, and
the Court determined that the matter was appropriate for
resolution without oral argument. Dkt. No. 16; Civil L.R.
petition is granted on the first claim for a due process
violation under the Fifth Amendment of the United States
Constitution. The government is ordered to release Masood
from custody or, within 28 days of the date of this order,
provide him with a custody hearing before an immigration
judge. If the immigration judge has not issued a decision on
the hearing within 14 days of the custody hearing, Masood
must be released from detention.
parties do not dispute the salient facts. Masood is 30 years
old and a native of Saudi Arabia. Dkt. No. 1 at 4. He moved
at a young age to the West Bank area in Israel. Id.
He is deemed to be stateless by the United States.
Id. at 1.
April 2019, Masood arrived at the San Francisco International
Airport and immediately sought asylum. Id. The
asylum application is based on Masood's allegations of
persecution and harassment in the West Bank for his political
and religious views. Id. at 5. He is a professed
atheist who has left the Muslim faith, which Masood says
incited death threats against him as an
“infidel.” Id. He was also labeled a
“traitor” after trying unsuccessfully to enlist
in the United States military. Id. The enlistment
attempt occurred in 2016 when Masood entered the United
States on a valid B1 visa. Id. Masood experienced
some minor legal difficulties during this visit but applied
for and was granted a voluntary departure from the United
States. Id.; Dkt. No. 8 at 3-4.
ICE intake in April 2019, Masood reported several incidents
of violence and threats to his life. Dkt. No. 1 at 5. An
asylum officer determined that he had a credible fear of
persecution were he to be deported. Id. at 6. Even
so, an immigration judge denied his asylum application in
August 2019 and ordered him removed to Israel or Jordan.
Id. Masood has challenged the deportation order on
multiple grounds before the Bureau of Immigration Appeals,
and the appeal appears to be pending. Id. at 7-8.
Masood has also requested a remand of the deportation
proceedings based on allegations of ineffective assistance of
counsel by his prior lawyer. Id. at 8.
has been detained by ICE in the Yuba County Jail since April
10, 2019. Id. at 4. The government imposed custody
under 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b)(1)(B)(ii) (“Section
1225(b)”), which allows for the detention of aliens
with a credible fear of persecution pending further
consideration of their asylum applications. In September
2019, Masood filed a parole request to be released to the
home of a United States citizen who had agreed to sponsor
him, but ICE declined the request with a slew of entirely
conclusory statements, some of which Masood alleges were
simply wrong as a matter of fact. Dkt. No. 1 at 7. A
subsequent parole request in November 2019 was met with a
summary denial that did not reflect any consideration of
evidence submitted by Masood. Dkt. No. 13 at 14-15. To date,
Masood has been in jail for nearly nine months.
habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 presents several
claims, all of which seek the same relief: an individualized
custody hearing before a neutral decisionmaker, or, in the
alternative, immediate release from custody. The first claim
is that his detention without a hearing violates the Fifth
Amendment's Due Process Clause. Dkt. No. 1 at 13-14. The
Court finds that Masood is entitled to a custody hearing
before an immigration judge, and the other claims are
reserved for another day as warranted by developments in the
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
Masood is in custody in Yuba County, which is outside the
boundaries of this district, jurisdiction and venue warrant a
brief discussion. The Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331, 2241 to consider constitutional challenges
to Masood's continued detention under 8 U.S.C. §
1225(b). See Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678,
688, 121 S.Ct. 2491 (2001) (“§ 2241
habeas corpus proceedings remain available as a forum for
statutory and constitutional challenges to
post-removal-period detention.”); Rodriguez v.
Marin, 909 F.3d 252, 256 (9th Cir. 2018) (“[I]t is
clear we have jurisdiction over petitioners' claims, as
does the district court.”). The federal officer
respondents do not contend otherwise, or challenge the
Court's subject matter jurisdiction in any way.
respect to personal jurisdiction and venue, Masood alleges
that his legal custodian, the Acting Field Director of the
San Francisco ICE Field Office, is found in this district,
and that most of the material events occurred here. Dkt. No.
1 at 2. The relief ordered by the Court will be directed to
the San Francisco ICE office. Personal jurisdiction and venue
have been demonstrated in this district, and respondents
again do not argue for any other result.