A federal judge in Harrisburg has ruled that the Moshannon Valley Immigration Processing Center is located in Clearfield County, not Center County, as claimed by one of the detainees.
The question of where the facility is has implications for inmate Akeem Ricky Miller, who recently filed a motion opposing an unfavorable ruling by Philadelphia Immigration Judge Steve Mannion.
Miller sued Mannion, the U.S. Attorney General, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Moshannon Valley Facility Director, seeking a temporary order suspending his deportation from the United States.
His petition was sealed when it was filed in federal court in the Intermediate District of Pennsylvania. It is not accessible to the public.
The government, however, opposed his motion, noting that Miller had not exhausted all of his options to challenge his placement in the detention center before filing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court.
Harrisburg U.S. Attorney Joseph J. Terz also pointed out that the federal court in the Intermediate District of Pennsylvania cannot hear the case because the Moshannon Valley facility is, in fact, located in the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Miller disputed that idea, pointing out that the facility’s address is 555 Geo Drive, Philipsburg.
He said Philipsburg is a community in Center County, located in the Central District of Pennsylvania.
The matter was initially considered by Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab, who disagreed.
In a nine-page decision, she argued that while the treatment center may have an address in Philipsburg, Center County, she determined that the facility was located in Decatur Township, Township of Clearfield.
She recommended that Miller’s Habeas Corpus petition be transferred to the Western District of Pennsylvania.
U.S. District Judge Robert D. Mariani transferred the Miller case to Johnstown U.S. District Court on Tuesday.
The Miller motion was assigned to Magistrate Judge Cynthia Reed Eddy in Pittsburgh.
In determining that the facility is located in the western part of the state, she cited numerous news articles and court cases referring to the location of the treatment center as being in Clearfield County.
In his petition, Miller referred to the facility as the Moshannon Valley Correctional Center, but Schwab explained that Moshannon Valley is no longer a private prison that once contracted with the US Bureau of Prisons to house federal prisoners.
It was “reused” Schwab said it is a privately owned immigration detention center but operated as a secure immigration processing center.