There are a number of fed-up travelers in quarantine seeking release from what they described as being held against their will and late this afternoon, the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) was ordered to immediately release four individuals from the government quarantine facility.
Attorney Tom Fisher represents Sean Convento, who was quarantined off a flight from Seattle, Washington.
“When he arrived at the airport, he was thrown into involuntary confinement at the Westin Hotel. He was not informed that he had a right to a court-appointed attorney that he would not have to pay for,” says Fisher.
There was no petition filed by the Attorney General or DPHSS to keep him incarcerated beyond ten days and all of those things are requirements of the law. He has been held in confinement in a 120 square foot box for some 12 days and was never tested by Public Health, Fisher said.
In fact, Convento presented DPHSS with proof that he had tested negative for COVID-19 but according to Fisher, the department disregarded the test.
Superior Court Judge Elyze Iriarte noted the illegality of the government’s actions in the case and put her foot down.
“She said we are not going to put up with it. These are fundamental constitutional rights. And this gentlemen’s rights have been violated and we’re just not going to put up with it. Essentially and she ordered his release,” the lawyer said.
Fisher put the offer on the table telling the government that he would dismiss the petition if Convento was released, the government agreed.
Attorney Rachel Taimanao-Ayuyu represents Janela Cruz and her two sons. They were also granted their immediate release from the quarantine facility.
“The particular concern in that case was the government essentially strong-armed Mrs. Cruz into quarantine,” Fisher said, adding that she hadn’t traveled off-island, instead, she went to the airport to pick up her two children.
“Public Health in conjunction with the Guam Police Department and perhaps the Airport Police told her that we’re going to take your kids and may try to get CPS involved in this unless you agree to accompany your children into quarantine. So, of course, she didn’t have a choice,” Fisher said.
Four cases were heard simultaneously. The Cruz case and Convento case were heard and granted. Meanwhile, the Lang and Martinez cases are will continue tomorrow.