Diouf v. Napolitano set important precedent on the due process rights of detained immigrants.  The government detained Mr. Diouf -- a Senegalese native who came the United States on a student visa, obtained a college degree and married a United States citizen – for over 19 months without ever providing him a hearing before an immigration judge where he could seek release on bond.  The Ninth Circuit ultimately held that the government violated Mr. Diouf’s rights, and established that the government cannot detain noncitizens like Mr. Diouf for more than six months without providing a bond hearing where it must justify such lengthy detention.

Case Developments

April 21, 2011
The ACLU/SC developed a practice advisory for practitioners and pro se detainees on how to request a bond hearing that complies with the Ninth Circuit decision. Read the practice advisory.

March 7, 2011
This landmark Ninth Circuit ruling established a time period of six months that limits how long the government can detain noncitizens in Mr. Diouf’s position without providing them a bond hearing. Read the ruling.

November 21, 2006
The habeas petition provides background on Mr. Diouf’s long residence in the United States, and the government’s minimal paper reviews that led to his unjustified detention. Read the habeas petition.

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

ACLU Immigrants Rights Project; Stanford Immigrants’ Rights Clinic

Date filed

July 19, 2016


United States District Court for the Central District of California

Case number


Stay informed

ACLU of Southern California is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National