Ninth Circuit Orders Medical Stay of Deportation for Injured Boy

(CN) – Two weeks after temporarily halting his deportation to Guatemala, the Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday that a 5-year-old boy can see a pediatric neurologist to determine whether he needs an emergency medical procedure.

The boy’s advocates have one week to consult with a neurologist and pediatric neurosurgeon to determine whether the boy is healthy enough to travel by plane or whether he will need treatment in the U.S., according to the 3-page order.

The James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse in San Francisco, home of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. (Ernest McGray/Associated Press)

But the appellate panel denied a motion by the boy’s attorneys to make the government provide him a bed that is not a bunk bed as well as a request that his legal counsel receive 72-hour notice before he is moved.

Gregory Copeland of Rapid Defense Network, a legal aid organization representing the family, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Attorneys for the boy’s family say he fractured his skull in a serious accident a month before federal immigration agents detained his family. The boy suffered painful headaches as a result of the injury and has trouble hearing, advocates said.

The boy’s brother and mother are in federal custody at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Dilley, Texas. His father is incarcerated in a California jail.

ICE has not immediately commented on the ruling or the boy’s condition.

After U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson denied a motion to halt the family’s deportation until the boy – identified as M.S.M.R. in court papers – received medical attention, attorneys for the family petitioned the Ninth Circuit. A three-judge panel temporarily stayed the boy’s deportation on Feb. 10.

On Wednesday, the panel ruled the matter would not be remanded to Wilson’s court for further consideration of any new medical opinions. The panel will retain jurisdiction and gave the boy’s attorneys 15 days to update the court – after which the government can request that the deportation stay be lifted, the panel ruled.

U.S. Circuit Judges Ronald Gould, a Bill Clinton appointee, and Barack Obama appointee Paul Watford, and Senior U.S. Circuit Judge William C. Canby Jr., a Carter appointee, made up the panel.

The U.S. Justice Department did not immediately provide comment on the ruling.

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