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Supreme Court will not expedite immigration detainer appeal

by Benjamin Kibbey Western News
| December 18, 2018 3:00 AM

The Montana Supreme Court denied a motion for expedited consideration on Dec. 11 in an appeal made by the ACLU regarding the case of a Eureka man who is contesting the legality of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security immigration detainer from the U.S. Border Patrol.

The ACLU filed the appeal and motion for expedited consideration with the Montana Supreme Court on Nov. 21.

The appeal was filed after Montana 19th Judicial District Court Judge Matt Cuffe denied an application by the ACLU on behalf of Ramon for a temporary restraining order to prevent the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office from turning Ramon over to Border Patrol if he is released on bond.

Currently, Ramon is being held on a $25,000 bond. However, the detainer would have the Sheriff’s Office hold Ramon up to 48 hours if he were bailed out, giving Border Patrol time to come and pick him up. The ACLU suit alleges doing so would constitute a second arrest without cause.

From the beginning, Sheriff Roby Bowe maintained that that the Sheriff’s Office routinely detains suspects at the request of federal agencies.

Court filings by Bowe’s attorney indicate that since Ramon has not been bailed out, he is currently being detained legally.

The ACLU’s motion for expedited consideration cites Ramon’s Thursday, Jan. 3, court date, and indicates concern that if he were to bond out and be remanded to federal custody, it could negatively impact his case.

Court documents indicate that Ramon has been in the Lincoln County Jail since Aug. 3, when Eureka Police Officer Grigori Neils arrested him on suspicion of burglary.

According to Neils’ case report, Ramon was arrested after a neighbor alleged he found Ramon wandering around his house when Ramon believed no one was there. The report states that Ramon admitted during an interview that he stole the medications for his wife, Lily McNair. According to Neils’ report, McNair was under investigation for stealing 30 pain pills.

According to an affidavit, McNair paid a bail-bond company to post bail against Ramon’s $25,000 bond. When a bondsman attempted to post it, jail officials “refused to release Mr. Ramon, even after The bondsman sought to post the full bail amount, because Mr. Ramon is subject to an Immigration Detainer,” the affidavit states.