NPR: U.S. Citizen Who Was Held By ICE For 3 Years Denied Compensation By Appeals Court

NPR: U.S. Citizen Who Was Held By ICE For 3 Years Denied Compensation By Appeals Court by Camila Domonoske:

In a ‘botched’ investigation, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement kept Davino Watson, a U.S. citizen, imprisoned as a deportable alien for nearly 3 1/2 years.

Watson v. United States, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13805 (2d Cir. July 31, 2017) (does not rely on Fourth Amendment):

Davino Watson, a United States citizen, was improperly held in immigration detention for more than three years because the government mistakenly believed that he was a deportable alien. He sued under the Federal Tort Claims Act in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Weinstein, J.), asserting four claims: (1) false imprisonment, (2) malicious prosecution, (3) negligent investigation into his citizenship status, and (4) negligent failure to issue a certificate of citizenship until years after his release. The district court found the government liable to Watson on the false imprisonment claim, dismissed the malicious prosecution claim and negligent investigation claim on motion, and entered judgment for the government on the negligent delay claim post-trial.

We reverse the judgment with respect to the false imprisonment claim, which is time-barred. We affirm the judgment in all other respects. The malicious prosecution claim fails because the government did not act with malice, the negligent investigation claim fails for lack of a private analogue, and the negligent delay claim fails because Watson suffered no cognizable damages.

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