Vega v. Management and Training Corporation (Immigrant Detention)

Status: CLOSED


On October 14, 2021, Carlos Murillo Vega, a man who spent 14 months in solitary confinement while detained by ICE, sued private detention company Management and Training Corporation (MTC) for subjecting him to unlawful conditions of confinement that violated ICE policy and amounted to torture.  

Murillo was incarcerated in solitary confinement for 14 months beginning on December 13, 2019, at the Imperial Regional Detention Facility, where he spent 23 hours a day alone — a form of torture that was devastating to both his physical and psychological wellbeing. His cell was so small that when he stretched out his arms, he could nearly touch both walls.  

In addition to seeking damages to compensate Murillo for the lifelong harm caused by abuses in the detention center, the suit seeks to hold MTC accountable for abuses that other individuals suffered while incarcerated. 

On April 19, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California denied a motion for summary judgment by MTC and found that a genuine dispute remained as to whether MTC acted with reckless disregard of causing Mr. Murillo emotional distress and as to whether Mr. Murillo Vega may be entitled to punitive damages. The court also noted that Mr. Murillo had presented “substantial” evidence that MTC’s actions violated ICE’s detention standards. 

The parties agreed to a confidential settlement agreement on October 18, 2023 and shortly thereafter the court entered an order of dismissal. This groundbreaking case was the first of its kind under California’s new Detention in Accountability Act. It establishes a pathway to hold private detention facilities accountable for abuse of detainees. 

The plaintiff was represented by BraunHagey & Borden, LLP, UCLA School of Law’s Human Rights Litigation Clinic, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice. 

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