Lately, ICE has been moving many individuals picked up at the southern border to Ocilla, Georgia. This means that individuals with families in other states are now forced to request bond in Atlanta, Georgia. These families often go to attorneys in their states who then file the bond request in Atlanta. After watching several out-of-town attorney request bond for their recently arrived clients, I have come up with a list of tips:
Judges in Atlanta want to see evidence that a client is not a danger to the community and evidence that he/she is not a flight risk. You cannot file a Motion for Bond with no evidence and expect that a Judge will grant your Motion. Relevant evidence is a must!
2. Do Not Assume Your Motion for Telephonic Hearing Will Be Granted
We are often called by out-of-town attorneys only one or two days before a bond hearing. The attorneys are frantic because they have just discovered that their Motions for Telephonic Hearings have been denied. Judges in Atlanta rarely grant Motions for Telephonic Hearings. Do not assume your telephonic request will be granted. Please either make arrangements to be in court the day of your hearing or consult with a local attorney before filing to ensure that someone will be available on your behalf the day of your hearing.
3. Do Not Neglect the Overall Case
According to many of the out-of-town attorneys that I speak with, Judges they practice before will routinely grant bond without any inquiry into the ultimate relief the client will be seeking. That is not the case in Atlanta. In considering flight risks, Judges will often look at your client’s ultimate eligibility for relief. Obviously, you do not have to have your entire case in chief ready to go on the day of the bond, but you must have conducted some analysis of the case and should be prepared to handle a Judge’s questions regarding what your client plans to do to fight removal when and if she is released.
4. Passing a Credible Fear Interview Does Not Mean Your Client Will Get Bond
This is the biggest mistake that I see out-of-town attorneys make. Judges consider individuals who have only recently arrived a heightened flight risk. In fact, in my experience, the most difficult bonds to obtain in Atlanta are for individuals who have only recently arrived and just passed a creditable fear interview.