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Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C. Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Pax Christi USA in Appellate Case Focused on Constitutionality of State Ban on Private Detention Centers

News
1.10.24

Hackensack, NJ (January 10, 2024) – In a lawsuit focused on the validity of New Jersey’s ban on private detention centers, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C. has filed an amicus brief on behalf of Pax Christi USA, the Catholic peace movement, in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit. The matter, CoreCivic, Inc., v. Governor of New Jersey, et. al., is on appeal from a decision of U.S. District Judge Robert Kirsch finding unconstitutional New Jersey Assembly Bill (“AB”) 5207, which prohibits private detention centers from entering into future contracts, thus preventing their operation in the State once their existing contracts expire. 

As an advocate for the human dignity, health, and safety of all individuals, especially the marginalized and including those who are incarcerated, Pax Christi USA supports the State’s position and the validity of AB 5207. Pashman Stein litigation partner David Cinotti said, “Pax Christi USA’s position is that New Jersey’s enactment of AB 5207 was a proper exercise of the State’s traditional police powers to protect the health and safety of those whom the federal government chooses to detain in New Jersey under its immigration authority.”

As background, CoreCivic, Inc., the world’s largest private-prison company, challenged AB 5207’s constitutionality in New Jersey federal court and sought an injunction barring its enforcement with respect to CoreCivic’s Elizabeth Detention Center, which houses people detained by the federal government on immigration-related matters. The district court granted CoreCivic’s motion, concluding that AB 5207 was preempted by federal immigration law and barred by the intergovernmental immunity doctrine. The State appealed.

Cinotti, along with Brendan Walsh, Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation department, and litigation associate Dominique Kilmartin, filed a motion to appear as amicus and file an amicus brief on behalf of Pax Christi USA in support of the State’s position.

Speaking to the firm’s commitment to public interest impact litigation and appellate advocacy work, CJ Griffin, Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C., said, “The Stein Center helps our pro bono clients advocate for greater social justice, especially in the criminal justice context. Whether focused on police transparency or advancing the rights of incarcerated persons, we want to help elevate these issues. Today’s amicus brief outlines how the lack of accountability and transparency in private prisons leads to a perfect storm of abuse and neglect.”

The brief, available here highlights years of empirical data establishing that health and safety conditions in private prisons are measurably worse than those in government institutions, and that existing oversight protocols have repeatedly proven ineffective at holding private prisons accountable for the harm to people detained within their walls. 

About Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C.

Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C. is a full-service law firm with a reputation for professional excellence. Headquartered in Hackensack, New Jersey, the firm has offices throughout the region in Holmdel, New Jersey; New York, New York; Purchase, New York; and Wilmington, Delaware. The firm serves a diverse client base including Fortune 500 companies, emerging growth entities and entrepreneurial businesses, professional athletes, law firms, judges, lawyers, governmental entities, non-profit organizations, and individuals. As a member of Interlaw, the firm has access to an internationally recognized network of law firms, comprising 7500+ lawyers based in more than 150 cities around the world. Recent firm honors include being named Law Firm of the Year (2023), Litigation Department of the Year General-finalist (2023) and, for five years in a row, awarded Appellate Litigation Department of the Year (2018-2022), by the New Jersey Law Journal; and named 2020 Pro Bono Law firm by the New Jersey State Bar Association. For more information, please visit www.pashmanstein.com The New Jersey Legal Awards are published by the New Jersey Law Journal. A description of the selection methodology can be found at Methodology: New Jersey Legal Awards 2023. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

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