‘You’re not detained, but you can’t go home’, US tells crew

This article is from April of this year. Don’t know what the current status is but according to the article the crew members have been detained since May 2022.

‘You’re not detained, but you can’t go home’, US tells crew

Although the ship’s Ukrainian captain — Pavlo Raskatov — and the five Filipino engine room crew members have been in a hotel in San Diego since last May under orders not to leave California, the DOJ contends that this is not a case of detention. And because they are, in some legalistic sense, not detained, they do not enjoy the rights of detained persons. A US magistrate judge has agreed with the DOJ position, and thus the non-detained crew cannot be ordered to be released.

The ship itself is long since free.

Court case stating some crew members are not detained but not allowed to leave the country is here

Probably of limited value as precedent as it was a decision on a motion and was decided without prejudice:

The Court’s finding that exceptional circumstances do not currently exist does not preclude any Petitioner from renewing his motion under Rule 15(a)(1) with additional facts supporting such a finding.

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It sounds like those crew required to remain in California are not represented by legal counsel.

From the opinion:
Petitioners appeared with their counsel on November 18, 2022

Thanks for the clarification. It seems that they could have got a better outcome.

It’s probably some 24 year old probono ACLU volunteer. Combined with the fact that these guys speak limited English and have very little funding, it’s unfortunate but the court(and their nation’s consulate) isn’t doing right by them.

This was just posted yesterday.

After a five-day jury trial, Chief Engineer Denys Korotkiy has been found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, and failure to maintain accurate records for the M/V Donald.

The crew being held is from the ship M/V Donald.

The outcome may have been different if the ACLU had gotten involved. I don’t think this ruling would withstand scrutiny upon review. A US citizen’s right to freedom of movement cannot be denied unless detained or under arrest. There’s no grey area.
It could be argued that the crewmembers in questions are not US citizens but typically, under normal circumstances, the same rights are granted.

The gist of the decision is not that they are not under detention. It’s that they didn’t provide sufficient evidence to support their position. That’s why it was dismissed without prejudice. They can re-file with the additional evidence the Court says they needed. More simply, it’s not “you are not…” it’s “you have not provided enough to show that you are.” They are allowed a do-over. This might actually be a favorable outcome, if there was sufficient grounds for a dismissal with prejudice (io.e., no do-over).

If the US authorities are acknowledging their innocence, why would they have to provide evidence to support their position? How is it legal to hold them as potential witnesses without subpoenas?

I didn’t research the issue and associated law. Since I’m not willing to research the issues, I’m accepting the Court’s rationale, which is explained in the opinion, at face value. But note that legal and equitable may not be the same.

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Nope. Just thought you might have been able to shed light on the issue.

Not a chance. As a reformed lawyer (you cannot be an “ex-lawyer”) I am not gong to opine without doing research.

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Ah. The arcane workings of the law.