CANADA – A federal judge in Winnipeg has ruled in favor the family of a civil lawsuit against a Winnipeg immigration lawyer who died after he was detained for more than six hours while he was trying to defend a client in court.
U.S. District Judge John C. Tackett said in his ruling Wednesday that the case is not about whether the lawyer should be detained.
Rather, it is about what happens when the government’s policy of detaining someone in a civil case is in violation of federal law.
The lawyer, who was born in Mexico but is Canadian, was held in the immigration detention centre in Winnipeg for three days after he tried to represent a client whose immigration status is a criminal matter.
Citing the constitutional right to counsel, Tacketts said he concluded that the lawyer’s life was not in danger while he faced the threat of arrest.
Tampons and other items were not provided, he said.
The immigration judge in the case, Peter Condon, also said he is not sure what other actions could be taken by the federal government.
Condon noted that there are no reports of any deaths or serious injuries to any of the detainees in the detention centre.
The judge also said that his order requires the government to provide a report within 90 days about the circumstances surrounding the detention of the lawyer.
The lawsuit, filed in 2015, accuses the lawyer of misrepresenting his skills and expertise in immigration matters and of violating the rights of the clients in an effort to deport them, which violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The family has filed a separate civil case in the U.K. seeking $1.6 million.
The Toronto-based immigration lawyer was arrested Feb. 15 after he and his client tried to go to court to defend an immigration case against the client.
The client’s immigration status has been criminal and he was charged with breaching a bail conditions order.
The Immigration and Refugee Board is charged with enforcing the conditions.
In his ruling, Tampos said that the client, Jose Carlos Sánchez-Martínez, was released from detention after a detention hearing with his lawyers but remained in detention for more time than is required under the law.
He said he found it “surprising” that the detainee had been detained for a period of more than 6 hours.
“This is not something that should be going on.
It’s not right,” Tampotes said.
“It is contrary to the Charter and I cannot find any justification for it.
It is clearly not the case that the detention has to be prolonged in order to protect the interests of a detainee.”
In his decision, Tockett said he was “not persuaded” that Sánches detention was necessary for the client’s safety.
“As I have stated, the detention was justified to protect Mr. Sánces well-being and his well-known legal capacity,” Tackets said.
Tockets said the case was not about the legal merits of the case and that he could not consider the fact that Sáenz-Martinez had a Canadian passport.
“His passport was not subject to any restrictions at all,” Tocketts said.
However, he noted that the judge said that if Sánchys passport was a valid Canadian passport and not a Mexican one, then it was a criminal offence.
Tocks decision also addressed the detention policy in Canada and the lack of oversight of detention policies in Canada.
TACKETTS ORDER Tacketts ruling came after a hearing earlier this year where the family said they were unable to attend and were forced to listen to their lawyer.
They argued that the government did not follow the procedures in place to ensure that the family’s lawyer was not detained in detention.
The hearing was held at the request of the immigration lawyer and Tackerts order was approved by a federal judge.
The federal government is currently considering whether to appeal Tacketzs decision.
A Canadian Press reporter at the hearing told the judge that he was shocked that a federal court had allowed a federal officer to order an immigration detainee to be detained for six hours and that the decision would be overturned.
He also said the family would appeal.
************************** A Canadian man who died while in immigration detention in 2015 is suing the Canadian government.