#TRO #PreliminaryInjunction #Jurisdiction #Habeas
In a fast-moving case, several immigration detainees filed a habeas corpus petition seeking their release based on the COVID-19 pandemic and the conditions of the jails that they were housed in. Without offering the government a chance to respond, the district court issued a temporary retraining order demanding the release of the plaintiffs pending resolution of the issue. The government sought an immediate appeal. The 3rd Circuit determined that it had jurisdiction, stayed the TRO and ordered briefing on the merits of the case. The 3rd Circuit held that, though a TRO is generally interlocutory and not appealable, the district court’s order altered the status quo, and was thus a preliminary injunction and not a TRO. And given that a preliminary injunction is appealable, the court had jurisdiction to hear the case.