News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Suit filed for immigrant children detained at hotel; ill judge doesn't have to sign reelection papers

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Lawsuit filed for immigrant children detained at Hampton Inn

A lawyer with the Texas Civil Rights Project was forced out of a Hampton Inn hotel in McAllen, Texas, where he was investigating an Associated Press claim that children were being secretly held there before their deportation, according to a video posted by the group. The July 23 video shows three men wearing face masks blocking the lawyer, and one of them shoving the lawyer onto the elevator. The staff member recording the video was also forced onto the elevator. On Friday, the Texas Civil Rights Project sued on behalf of the unnamed children, and the Hampton Inn said it has canceled the reservations, made by a private contractor working for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Newsweek, the Arizona Republic, Courthouse News Service, the lawsuit)

Judge with COVID-19 doesn’t have to sign reelection paperwork

A Louisiana judge incapacitated with COVID-19 doesn’t have to personally sign documents to appear on the November ballot, at least for now, the state supreme court has ruled. Campaign officials for the judge, Chip Moore of East Baton Rouge, filed the paperwork Friday. (The Advocate via How Appealing)

Panel will consider consolidating ‘business interruption’ lawsuits

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will hear arguments Thursday on whether to consolidate more than 100 lawsuits filed against insurers for “business interruption” coverage. Insurers and a few plaintiffs oppose the move, arguing that differing state laws and insurance policies would make consolidation a bad idea. (The Daily Business Review)

Judge bans in-person criminal hearings in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

The presiding judge in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, has suspended in-person court appearances in the criminal court after another lawyer who visited the courthouse tested positive for COVID-19. Three staff members in the district attorney’s office had previously tested positive for the virus, according to a July 6 Facebook post by the office. The latest lawyer to test positive was not identified. President Judge Kim Berkeley Clark has also temporarily barred the public from parts of the criminal, family and magisterial district courts. (Law360, Clark’s order)

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