On Tuesday, October 19, 2021, a jury in Broward County Circuit Court returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the City of Pembroke Pines, and awarded no damages to the Town of Southwest Ranches in a case where the Town blamed the City for a decision made in 2012 by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office (ICE) to not award a contract to a private prison company to construct and operate an immigration detention facility in the Town of Southwest Ranches.
The Town claimed it would have received over $100 million in revenues from the operation of the facility through an agreement it had with the private prison company. On June 15, 2012, ICE issued a public bulletin notifying the Town and all others that it no longer needed the bed space and was not going to build an immigration detention facility in the state of Florida. Even so, in October 2012, the Town, knowing of this public statement, sued the City of Pembroke Pines alleging the City was responsible for ICE's decision. The jury agreed with the City.
In addition, when the private prison company, CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), sued the City over the same matter, the courts rejected its claims for damages and entered a judgement in favor of the City.
As of this date, no immigration detention facility has been built in the state of Florida.
The City intends to request the Court to compel the Town to reimburse the City for its legal fees and costs defending the lawsuit.