Federal Judge Orders Victorville Prison to Allow Detainees to See Attorneys After ACLU Files Suit

One of the two medium-security facilities at the Victorville Federal Correctional Complex is shown in an undated image from the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.

One of the two medium-security facilities at the Victorville Federal Correctional Complex is shown in an undated image from the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.

Two days after the ACLU of Southern California filed an emergency lawsuit, a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles approved a temporary restraining order Thursday allowing immigrant detainees being held at a Victorville federal prison complex to contact attorneys.

The order was in response to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday night, calling for an end to the denial of attorney access to detainees at the medium-security prison, which is located about 60 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.

The ACLU’s complaint stated that hundreds of immigrants were moved from detention facilities to the federal prison and subsequently were held “incommunicado” and denied access to legal counsel.

Included in Tuesday’s complaint as plaintiffs were attorney Gabriela Lopez and her client Gustavo Rodriguez Castillo, an asylum-seeker from Honduras who was cut off from Lopez after being relocated to the prison.

Lopez is now permitted to reach her client either in person or by phone, the order says.

According to an ACLU news release issued Thursday, the order was approved by Judge Otis D. Wright II who believes “plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm if injunctive relief is not granted.”

The judge also ordered a stop to immigration proceedings, including deportations, until detainees either consult with attorneys or attend a “know your rights” training session.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for June 25.

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