Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.


February 20, 1990


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert P. Patterson, Jr., District Judge.


This case arises out of a serious disturbance that occurred on October 4, 1989 at an Immigration and Naturalization Service ("INS") facility. As more fully described below, the disturbance began as an assault on an INS officer and escalated into a near-riot, causing loss of control of the facility for nearly four hours. Defendants Richard Hamilton, Ivan Rutiba and Everald Gallimore-Daly, a/k/a "Michael Palmer" are alleged to have been among the participants in the events of that day.

Defendant Rutiba moves this Court for an order dismissing the indictment against him on the grounds that the government violated his rights to due process under the Fifth Amendment and compulsory process under the Sixth Amendment. He contends that his ability to establish his defense, namely that he was misidentified as one of the participants in the disturbance, has been significantly damaged by actions of the government. Specifically, it is argued that the government violated Mr. Rutiba's rights by (1) deporting a witness whose testimony would have been material and favorable to his defense, and (2) deporting several eyewitnesses to the alleged assault without ascertaining whether their testimony would be helpful to the defense and without granting the defendant access to these eyewitnesses prior to deporting them.

The prosecution and the defense are in general agreement as to the events of October 4, 1989.*fn1 On that day, there were approximately 90 detainees housed in Dormitories 15 and 16 of the INS Special Processing Center at 201 Varick Street in Manhattan ("SPC"). The 90 detainees were all English-speaking and predominantly black. They had access to both dormitories and the recreation and dining facilities which served them. A significant number of the detainees were in the facility's dining room serving Dorms 15 and 16 at approximately 9:15 a.m. At that time, one detainee, alleged to be defendant Hamilton, refused to submit to a routine search as he left the dining room after breakfast, and allegedly threatened the INS Officer attempting to conduct the search, Officer Mark Saccamano. The situation quickly deteriorated. A number of detainees surrounded Officer Saccamano and assaulted him. Additional INS Officers were called to assist him but were confronted by several detainees and were forced to withdraw. For the next four hours, until approximately 1:00 p.m., the facility was out of the control of the officers. During that period, unidentified detainees are said to have vandalized the recreation and dormitory areas of the facility by, among other things, starting a fire and breaking windows, all of which caused substantial damage.

When order was reestablished in the facility, defendant Rutiba, a black English-speaking man, was identified as having participated in the attack on Officer Saccamano and in the harassment of other immigration officers during the disturbance. After he, Hamilton and Gallimore-Daly were arrested, Mr. Rutiba was immediately removed from the general detainee population and has since been housed at the Manhattan Correctional Center.

On October 24, 1989, the Grand Jury, in a one-count indictment, charged the three defendants with forcibly resisting, opposing, impeding, intimidating and interfering with immigration officers on October 4, 1989, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 111, 2.


The government and the defense have submitted affidavits describing the events leading up to the present motion. The relevant facts are undisputed.

Because Mr. Rutiba had been removed from the SPC immediately after the disturbance, and because Mr. Rutiba knew many of his fellow detainees only by their nicknames, if at all, Davison was unable to provide a complete list of possible alibi witnesses. Nonetheless, on October 26, 1989, Mr. Davison sent a letter to the AUSA giving the names of five potential witnesses: "Kwadwo," Eupert Morgan, Kenneth Williams, "Belhomme," and "Uncle."

In the meantime, the defense had also begun an effort to interview detainee witnesses. On October 23, 1989, Meredith Randall, a law student working with Mr. Davison, visited the SPC in an effort to arrange such interviews. Ms. Randall was informed that such interviews would have to be arranged through INS executives at 26 Federal Plaza, but the people with whom she spoke were unable to specify whom she should contact or to which office she should go in order to make such arrangements.

Because the defense had encountered these difficulties in identifying and gaining access to the detainees, Mr. Davison also requested in his October 26 letter to the AUSA that the government assist him in obtaining a roster of the detainees present in Dorms 15 and 16 on October 4, 1989. Mr. Davison further requested that the government assist in developing a procedure whereby defense counsel could enter the SPC or other INS detention facilities to interview detainees to determine if their presence at trial would be necessary. The AUSA subsequently attempted to obtain the list Mr. Davison requested, but was advised by the INS that no such list was available.

A pre-trial conference was held before the Court on November 2, 1989. During the conference, the AUSA made assurances to the Court that the government would attempt to facilitate defense interviews. Transcript, Nov. 2, 1989, at 4. Defense counsel and the government agreed to proceed informally in identifying material witnesses, and the Court instructed all counsel to proceed quickly.*fn3

During November 1989, Mr. Rutiba compiled, as a result of correspondence it appears, a list containing the names of 23 detainees who were in Dorms 15 and 16 on the day of the disturbance. After several communications between the government and defense counsel concerning access to the detainees at the SPC, the government advised on Friday, December 1, 1989 that interviews could be ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.