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Ramon Valdez, Director Strategic Initiatives
On Wednesday, July 11, Innovation Law Lab and the Oregon Law Center secured a victory in their ongoing case against the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR), signaling progress in a larger suit which seeks to end the detainment of immigrants in the Oregon facility.
“Today Plaintiffs in the case against NORCOR secured a victory in their progress toward a Court ruling on NORCOR’s violations of ORS 181A.820,” said Erin Pettigrew, Rights Attorney at the Innovation Law Lab. “The Court affirmed Plaintiffs’ right to seek information about the individuals that NORCOR detects and apprehends and how they are treated in the jail, while denying NORCOR’s attempt to stall complete resolution of the case.”
Specifically, Plaintiffs won a motion to compel NORCOR to disclose certain documents pertaining to the individuals detained at the facility. While NORCOR argued that a federal regulation prevented the public disclosure of information of this kind, the court agreed with Plaintiffs that the regulation applied to public records requests and other public disclosures, not litigation requests for discovery. However, acknowledging privacy concerns, Plaintiffs did propose a protective order that would prevent public disclosure of personally identifying information, which the Court approved.
The Court also denied NORCOR’s motion to bifrucate the case. NORCOR sought Court approval to answer first whether they indeed “detect or apprehend” immigrants and then, later, engage in discovery and fact finding on the fiscal impact of that activity. The Court denied the motion, asking whether there was any equipment that did not belong to NORCOR that was used in their facility. Unable to answer to the contrary, the Court denied NORCOR’s motion and the case will proceed on all issues.
This victory signals progress in the larger effort to end the relationship between NORCOR and ICE and meaningfully affirm Oregon’s status as a sanctuary state.
In attendance at the hearing were members of Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (IMIrJ), Rural Organizing Project (ROP), and Gorge ICE Resistance. Plaintiffs Stovall, Olmstead and Krummrich are represented by Erin M. Pettigrew and Stephen Manning, Innovation Law Lab; Plaintiff Brown is represented by Stephen Walters and David Henretty, Oregon Law Center.