Martha’s Vineyard Migrants: Plane Companies Warned Not To Destroy Evidence

Immigrant Rights

Plane Companies Warned Not To Destroy Evidence in Connection with Martha’s Vineyard Migrants

Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR), the organization providing free legal support to the migrants flown by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to Martha’s Vineyard, warned two plane companies not to destroy any evidence surrounding the flights at issue in the class action recently filed in Boston.

In letters sent to Vertol Systems, and Ultimate JetCharters, LCR formally placed the companies on notice of the class action lawsuit brought by Alianza Americas and affected migrants. LCR has instructed both companies not to destroy any evidence surrounding the flights, and warned of potential federal court sanctions for any such destruction. The litigation hold is critical for the preservation of any and all available evidence. 

LCR described a broad range of evidence that must be preserved by the plane companies, including flight logs, passenger lists, contracts with the State of Florida for transport of migrants, and communications with any of the Defendants about any planned flights.

Ultimate JetCharters allegedly provided the planes that transported the migrants. Vertol Systems has reportedly received $1,565,000 from the State of Florida for immigrant flights, including $615,000 on September 8, 2022, for the flights to Martha’s Vineyard. The company was allegedly paid another $950,000 on September 19, 2022, for additional planned flights, though these were reportedly canceled on or after the day that the class action lawsuit was filed.  

The case is Alianza Americas, et al. v. DeSantis, et al., No. 22-CV-11550 (D. Mass.).

The litigation hold letters are available here and here.