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The California Department of Justice, Division of Law Enforcement, has issued a bulletin on the responsibilities of local jurisdictions under the TRUST Act and potential liability for detaining a person pursuant to an ICE request. Read my previous blog post for more on the TRUST Act. As for liability, the bulletin notes a district court in Oregon found detainers are voluntary requests, and thus a jail may be held financially liable if it turns out there was no probable cause for the detention. This is a worrisome prospect because ICE often issues detainer requests on scant evidence and in the past has even issued detainers against U.S. citizens.


The Alameda County Sheriff's Office is no longer honoring ICE detainer requests, period. The development likely has a lot to do with the court decisions that have held a local jail could be legally and financially responsible for an erroneous hold, not to mention the fact ICE does not even compensate the county for the expense of holding the person in custody for an additional day or two.

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office has revised its ICE hold policy to not honor ICE detainer requests except "in cases of individuals who pose significant public safety concerns, which would require case by case approval from the Sheriff's Executive staff." These should be a "rare exception."


Scott Mossman will present an MCLE on the California Trust Act, AB-4, on April 2, 2014, from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm in Oakland.

The Trust Act went into effect on January 1, 2014, and prohibits California law enforcement from honoring ICE detainer requests except under certain circumstances. The seminar will review this new legislation and compare it with the more protective ordinances and policies in place in some Bay Area counties. Our focus will be on the strategic use of the Trust Act and local ordinances to prevent transfer of removable noncitizen clients from local jail custody to ICE custody. In some cases this is possible even if the client has to take a felony conviction.

The Law Office of Scott A. Mossman has applied to the State Bar of California for certification of 1.5 MCLE credits for this in-person seminar. The event is open only to criminal defense attorneys, public defenders, and immigration attorneys. There is a $30 fee for registration, but it is waived for attorneys who previously have consulted with Scott Mossman.

Call Susana Figueroa at (510) 835-1115 to RSVP no later than March 31.