Attorney Claims Client Held at TCF without Cause

Attorney Mark Ude says the government is failing to provide due process to some of the detainees at the Territorial Correctional Facility..

The private attorney tells KHJ News he’s handled a number of cases of individuals who had been left at the TCF without justifiable reason or understanding of their statuses by neither the Public Defender’s Office or the Office of the Attorney General.

Ude is currently representing a Tongan national who has been dragged back to TCF while on probation release.

The man was working at a local business while awaiting notification by Immigration to get his immigration identification card.

Apparently, when the client went to the Immigration Office to get his ID, he was told that the equipment was down and they will contact him when it’s ready.

But while the man was waiting for word from Immigration, police acting on behalf of Immigration apprehended him from where he was working.

Ude is petitioning the court for a writ of extraordinary relief requesting that the court compel the Immigration Office to explain why his client had been arrested without cause and why he was not afforded a hearing before the Immigration Board prior to being arrested.

Ude believes that Immigration, under the Office of the Attorney General, has acted in an arbitrary, capricious and discriminatory manner.

He also charges that the government has failed to act in accordance with the various statutes enacted by the Fono.

Ude states in court filings, his client was forcefully taken from his place of employment to languish in custody behind barbed wire for over a year, having been denied the opportunity to have a hearing before the Immigration Office.

Further he has not been given a hearing to determine his status which would have afforded him the chance to remain at his place of residence outside of the Territorial Correctional Facility.

A hearing on the petition is set for July 19th.

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