Decision  Lunn v. Commonwealth

Date: 11/20/2017
Organization: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Table of Contents

Lunn v. Commonwealth

Lunn v. Commonwealth
Supreme Judicial Court, July 24, 2017
(Immigration Detainers)

“Massachusetts law provides no authority for Massachusetts court officers to arrest and hold an individual solely on the basis of a Federal civil immigration detainer, beyond the time that the individual would otherwise be entitled to be released from State custody.”

“The prudent course is not for this court to create, and attempt to define, some new authority for court officers to arrest that heretofore has been unrecognized and undefined. The better course is for us to defer to the Legislature to establish and carefully define that authority if the Legislature wishes that to be the law of this Commonwealth.”

See Footnotes 2 and 22 of the opinion:

“Given this conclusion, we do not address whether such an arrest, if authorized, would be permissible under the United States Constitution or the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.”

“As we have said, this case concerns detention based solely on a civil immigration detainer. This was not a situation where a detainer provided an officer with probable cause that a Federal criminal offense had been committed. We therefore do not address the authority or obligations of Massachusetts officers who, by a detainer or otherwise, acquire information of a Federal criminal offense.”

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