Marcus Lang is scheduled to be released from the Westin Resort, the Department of Defense’s quarantine facility in Tumon, on Tuesday.
However, he wasn’t given the opportunity to get out earlier even after taking his concerns to the Superior Court of Guam.
Lang’s attorney Jacqueline Terlaje confirmed with the Guam Daily Post on Monday morning that Judge Elyze Iriarte did not allow for Lang to be released.
“Lang's request for relief to be released from quarantine has not been brought against the appropriate entities in this case,” Iriarte stated in her decision and order. “For that reason, his petition is dismissed.”
"The Superior Court of Guam did not address the issue of whether DPHSS violated Mr. Lang's rights, rather the Court declined to exercise personal jurisdiction over Mr. Lang,” said Terlaje. “We are now seeking alternative relief."
Lang’s case was argued during a virtual court hearing held most of the day on Saturday.
He was fighting to get out of quarantine, claiming to be an essential worker.
Lang has also been spending $176.48 each night for his hotel stay along with food expenses.
“I am still confused why I am at a DOD facility,” said Lang during his testimony before the court.
Lang believed that among his options after he returned from California on Sept. 8 would be to be placed in the government of Guam quarantine facility or in home quarantine with restricted movement.
DOD had denied the request by Lang's employer, Cabras Marine Corp., for him to be released from quarantine.
Lang told the court that after he arrived at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport earlier this month, he was initially allowed to leave. But on his way to his job site at Apra Harbor, Lang got a phone call that there was an issue with his documents and that he needed to return to the airport immediately.
That’s when Lang found out he would have to be quarantined in the DOD facility.
He decided to take legal action after he wasn’t getting any updates on his situation from Guam Buildup Office Executive Director Vera Topasna, who is also the liaison to DOD.
Lang, who tested negative for the virus on Sept. 17, contends he was never told of his rights - that he could refuse quarantine or that he had the right to hire an attorney and challenge his “incarceration” before the court.
Topasna testified she had been working on Lang’s case and agreed with the local health director when he concluded that he would not override DOD’s denial of his release or restricted movement.
Assistant Attorney General Sandra Miller asked the court to dismiss the complaint, arguing the court has no jurisdiction over the case as Lang is being held in a DOD quarantine facility.
However, Terlaje contends Lang’s rights were violated, adding, “The court has heard that DPHSS had a blatant disregard for his circumstance.”
Three others have since won their cases after the court ruled that the Department of Public Health and Social Services failed to let arriving passengers know of their due process rights.
On Sunday, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero released an executive order clarifying the quarantine rules, but it does not change the 14-day quarantine unless a traveler gets a court order to be released early.