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Tuesday, June 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

High Court Nixes Petition Over Deported U.S. Baby

(CN) - A woman lost an appeal before the Supreme Court to sue U.S. Border Patrol for deporting her infant daughter, a U.S. citizen, to Mexico.

The justices did not comment in denying the petition of Monica Castro, who was 17 years old when she had a baby girl with Omar Gallardo, an illegal Mexican immigrant.

Castro reported Gallardo to immigration authorities after the couple had an argument, and Immigration officers deported Castro's daughter along with Gallardo and his family.

The mother and daughter were reunited three years later when Gallardo tried again to illegally reenter the country with his child. While in custody, Gallardo agreed to return their daughter to Castro.

Castro sued for border patrol, on behalf of herself and her daughter, for negligence, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress.

A federal judge dismissed her claims, but a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit in New Orleans reversed, ruling that Castro's federal tort claims could proceed.

On appeal, the full 5th Circuit overturned the ruling and threw out Castro's lawsuit.

The government had argued that the lower court lacked jurisdiction over Castro's claims, because they are barred by a discretionary function exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act.

The court's June 2010 majority ruling concluded that the government is shielded by the discretionary function exception.

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