A Frederick woman’s attorneys are asking a federal court to hold Frederick County responsible for her unlawful 2008 arrest.

In August 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit found that officials violated Roxana Orellana Santos’ constitutional right against unlawful search and seizure because they arrested her without probable cause. A motion for summary judgment filed on Aug. 25 aims to resolve the outstanding question of whether the county can be held liable for the illegal arrest.

Deputies arrested Santos, a native of El Salvador, in October 2008 while she ate lunch outside her workplace. They stopped her, questioned her about her immigration status and then found there was an open U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement civil deportation warrant for her.

Santos tried to hide when she saw the deputies, according to Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, which prompted the officers to ask her for identification.

The deputies arrested Santos, and she spent 37 days in jail before being released to immigration enforcement.

Last week’s motion is the latest in a legal battle going back to 2009 between Santos and the county, the sheriff and the deputies who arrested her.

Santos’ legal team argued in the filing that the county was responsible for the illegal arrest because the deputies were following policies set forth by Jenkins, a county official. His failure to provide training and guidance to the officers would have prevented the unlawful arrest, and his expressed support for the action were other areas of culpability, the attorneys added.

However, courts generally consider county sheriffs state employees, a fact the county’s attorneys have emphasized in earlier court documents.

Santos’ lawyers contend in the motion that Jenkins represented the county because he is elected by Frederick County voters. The illegal detention, they continued, was the result of county policy and not state law.

Santos’ representatives pointed to the county’s participation in the 287(g) program as evidence that official policies led to the arrest. The program is a partnership between the county and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to screen for immigration status at the jail and hold people there for the federal agency.

While Santos was not detained as part of that program, the lawyers argue that it shows that deputies act under county policy and federal law when they detain immigrants on behalf of ICE.

The program relies on federal reimbursements going through county budgets, the filing notes, which are independent of the state.

If a judge determines that Frederick County policy led to Santos spending more than a month in jail without having committed a crime, it could be on the hook for damages.

The filing does not specify the amount of money Santos is seeking, but the original 2009 suit requested a $1 million judgment. Most aspects of that suit, including a claim of racial profiling, were dismissed.

Neither attorneys for Santos nor the county returned a call for comment Friday.

Follow Kelsi Loos on Twitter: @KelsiLoos.

(42) comments

DickD

Does it really make any difference what any of us think? The law is clear, you need a 287 (g) approval to pick up illegals. This the Sheriff's office had. But the requirement to stop anyone for deportation is a felony, which she had not committed. Illegal immigration is a federal law, not enforceable by state or county law officers without a
287 (g) and the only reason for stopping someone, under 287 (g) is they have committed a crime enforceable by the state or county.

"Immigrants have an obligation to obey the law. If they violate it by entering the country illegally, that by itself is enough justification for deporting them, regardless of whether their illegal entry actually harms anyone or not."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/04/07/do-illegal-iimmigrants-have-an-obligation-to-obey-laws-banning-them-from-entering-the-united-states/?utm_term=.324b29566add

http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/us-immigration/deportation-removal-proceedings.html
"Non-citizens have the right to a lawyer, as well as other rights under the U.S. Constitution. The immigration authorities cannot simply deport someone without providing a chance to be heard.

Of course, the authorities often try to make the process go quickly, by asking the immigrant to sign something agreeing to depart without a hearing. In some cases, when the immigrant really is in the U.S. illegally with no defense to removal, leaving voluntarily can be the best way to go, because it avoids having an order of deportation on one's record."

"But anyone who believes they might have a right to remain in the U.S. should insist on their right to a lawyer (which they will, unfortunately, have to pay for on their own) and to a hearing on the merits of their case."


Even with a green card, you can be deported:

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/crimes-that-will-make-immigrant-deportable.html

"Crimes of moral turpitude" are not well defined in U.S. immigration law. However, the Department of State has provided guidance, noting that the most common elements of a moral turpitude crime will include "fraud, larceny, and intent to harm persons or things." Crimes involving dishonesty and theft will almost always be considered crimes of moral turpitude. Other examples would be assault with the intent to rob or kill, spousal abuse, and aggravated driving under the influence ("DUI" or "DWI").

User1

Did you sort of pass over the item about her having a "open federal deportation warrant" against her. They stopped her because she ran as they approached her. That's construed as "suspicious behavior". You then put her name in the system and her warrant pops up! Should be the end of the story. Time to stop wasting time and our tax money on this. Execute the deportation order and be done with her.

charlie211sfga

The ignorance of the actual law in the case is staggering. The claim would have been rejected on its face if it was without merit. The appeals court would have also overturned the lower court. The bickering now is over which party -- county or state -- will be held liable and it looks like it will be county on the hook.

Just because you think you know what the Constitution states does not mean you know anything about the law and its implementation.

DickD

If I am reading the law correctly, she can win the law suit, against the County, but federal agents could still deport her,

awteam2000

Why was she arrested and spent 37 days in jail before being released to immigration enforcement?

jerseygrl42

nine years of nonsense over a person who broke the law to come here in the first place

riccicc

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

rbtdt5

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Lev928

She has no case. As a matter of fact, she AND her attorney(s) should be prosecuted for filing a false claim. She was/is here illegally. Period. She has no right to protection afforded by the Constitution as she was in VIOLATION of the Constitution and federal laws in the first place.

The Frederick County Sheriff's Office had a legal right to detain her under federal law. The fact that she was accosted by the sheriff's office is separate from the fact that she was identified and detained for being here illegally. No matter the reason, they were Constitutionally and legally allowed to hold her for deportation (and whatever other criminal/civil charges she faced).

You snowflakes and anarchist fools that produce weak and false logic to defy the Constitution and law are the downfall of this great country and this state. Your time is coming to an end.

Samanthapowers

not that you care, but threatening people (time coming to an end) and name calling negates any legitimate points you may have. in fact, makes you look weak because perhaps you are afraid. just saying

CDReid

Can't stand it when people like Lev are right, can you? [lol][lol][lol]

Samanthapowers

you and lev deserve each other, cd. go take a walk in the park together.

phydeaux994

Lev and your ignorance of the Constitution is scary.

Lev928

Threats? You mean like the fascist, domestic terrorist ANTIFA group? Like their threats and violence? No, snowflake ... that is a direct statement that American patriots are not going to tolerate any of the ideology and actions of them and like-minded people -- American citizens or not. Those that actively oppose the U.S. Constitution, law and order have no place in this country. Period. Decent, law-abiding, hard-working and innocent Americans are tired of it and will no longer tolerate it.

You use the term "threatening". We use the terms "self defense" and "patriotism".

riccicc

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

phydeaux994

You might want to read the Constitution again Lev. Anyone in the Country, no matter their status has some Constitutional protection. It is America after all.

Lev928

phydeaux ... I know the U.S. Constitution inside and out, and all of the various interpretations of certain Amendments. My life and work revolves around it. Can you say the same? I highly doubt it.

phydeaux994

I can say the same Lev. There is not room here to point out your misinformation but if you are saying that illegal aliens have no protection under the Constitution you are wrong. Any illegal alien that establishes residence in the U.S. is entitled to, at minimum, a deportation hearing in front of a Federal Judge. Since the limits of the Federal Court System can only handle about 400,000 deportation hearings a year the waiting list for hearings is more than two years. That's why ICE wants to detain felons for deportation first, instead of people like Ms. Santos, who are guilty of misdemeanors. Besides, deportation is a joke. When deportees arrive back in Mexico they can get a bus ticket to anyplace in Mexico. They all want to go to border towns. I wonder why? You or anyone else can find all this information on line with a little effort.

KellyAlzan

Lev, apparently the experts (the judges) feel differently......

Lev928

Kelly ... the only judges that "agree" have been issued opinions and rulings in violation of the Constitution. Some of those rulings have been overturned while others are waiting their turn.

KellyAlzan

appeals and other rulings have nothing to do with the case at hand. After all these years - the case is still alive and well, Hmmmm........wonder why.....

DeplorableLocalVeteran

How ridiculous that in Frederick County,MD illegal immigrants have more Civil Rights and protections than Born in America black military and law enforcement families.

Yankee

What a great country. You can be here illegally and then expect to get a payout when you get caught. Send her and all of her friends back to El Salvador.

phydeaux994

Do you actually believe that if it was you Yankee, sitting there eating your lunch that those Deputies would have stopped and questioned you about your immigration status???

Whiskey2

They didn't question her immigration status. They asked her for ID and when they ran her, they learned of the warrant in NCIC for her deportation. Big difference!

phydeaux994

You might want to read the third paragraph of the article again Yankee.

phydeaux994

I mean whiskey, not Yankee.

Jackjaw1984

As usual the FNP gets the facts wrong. They never questioned her about her immigration. They saw suspicious activity, ie she was hid when they saw her. They walked behind the dumpster asked her what she was doing hiding behind there and asked for ID. They ran her like they would run anyone through the wanted person database and BEHOLD, SHE WAS WANTED!!!!!! They confirmed the warrant through ICE who gave them the go ahead to ARREST HER BECAUSE SHE WAS WANTED!!! This whole thing has been a giant waist of taxpayer money. People who think they are above the law, and can crap all over our laws, let me tell ya, your're not and you won't.

phydeaux994

You don't have a clue what you are talking about. The FNP has it right. If you know different offer your evidence.[smile][beam][lol]

Samanthapowers

of course not. if it did happen to whiskey he'd be crying and blaming libs. that's how they roll.

User1

You might want to read the FOURTH paragraph Phydo! States that she ran when approached.

User1

If she got up and ran when they approached like the illegal did I'm sure they would have. Like I stated above, that's construed as "suspicious behavior". They ask for ID and enter your name into system and if an open warrant comes out they detain you also. What's the issue? If she hadn't of got up and ran they wouldn't have bothered her.

CDReid

Agreed 100% Yankee!!! [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Whiskey2

She was taken into custody because a warrant for her deportation was entered into the NCIC system. She was immediately turned over to ICE, not after 37 days. This was the same practice carried out by every law enforcement agency in the state at the time. Her arrest had nothing to do with 287 (g) other than activist organizations wishing to conflate the two.

KellyAlzan

Ok, but in America we have this thing called "probable cause". A person sitting outside merely eating lunch is not probable cause for law enforcement to question them. Keep in mind, the sheriff's office is saying Santos "tried to hide". But did she??

Whiskey2

Probable cause is needed for arrest - not a casual encounter. Reasonable suspicion is required to detain and question. Once identified, she was detained for ICE upon learning of the warrant and contacting ICE for them to say they wanted her for deportation and were responding to take her into custody.

MrHitshed

Good explanation. Doesn't sound like there's much to this from a legal perspective.

phydeaux994

What was the reasonable suspicion in this case?

tmulliganjr

Oh.so your saying she dis nothing wrong and the police aee lying. She knew she had a warrant and she hid. And now taxpayers are paying for her fees and possibly a BS settlement. Just crazy if she wins.

Jackjaw1984

Lay down Kelly, you are wrong again.

User1

Again, read the fourth paragraph of this rehashed story. She ran when the officers approached. That's called "suspicious behavior". That is probable cause to stop and ask for ID. If you go back to look at the original story's you will find that she in fact did try to hide.

KellyAlzan

Since the case is still active, obviously the judges agree that fcso fouled up. What more is there to say at this point?

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