New York judge strikes down state rule allowing involuntary detention in quarantine camps

“Involuntary detention is a severe deprivation of individual liberty, far more egregious than other health safety measures," the judge wrote

Published: July 28, 2022 9:16pm

Updated: July 29, 2022 12:24am

A New York judge on Thursday voided a state rule that allowed the government to create quarantine camps and to detain healthy people within them for indeterminate periods without review.

Rule 2.13 gave the New York commissioner of public health the power to enforce quarantine regulations. Under this rule, court documents assert, “[t]he commissioner has unfettered discretion to issue a quarantine or isolation for anyone, even if there is no evidence that person is infected or a carrier of the disease. Further, the commissioner sets the terms, duration, and location of the detention, not an independent magistrate."

The judge highlighted that the protocol marked a severe escalation from existing health measures the state took to combat the spread of COVID-19 earlier in the pandemic.

“Involuntary detention is a severe deprivation of individual liberty, far more egregious than other health safety measures, such as requiring mask wearing at certain venues,” the judge wrote, according to the Epoch Times.

Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul ordered the initial protocols to allow the state Department of Health to enforce the measures, the outlet noted. The government argued that the detainees received protections such as the right to a review and a lawyer, but the judge noted that they did not allow citizens to challenge their initial detention.

“These protections are after-the-fact and would force the detainee to exercise these rights at a time when he or she is already detained, possibly isolated from home and family, and in a situation where it might be difficult to obtain legal counsel in a timely manner,” the opinion read.

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