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From detain +‎ -er.


detainer (plural detainers)

  1. (law) The right to keep a person, or a person's goods or property, against his will. A type of custody.
    • 2007 August 21, Kareem Fahim, “Presidential Candidate Blames Killings on Newark Sanctuary Policy”, in New York Times[1]:
      On Monday, the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency placed a similar detainer on Melvin Jovel, 18, who on Sunday was the sixth person to be arrested in the case.
    • 2008 March 23, Kareem Fahim, “Immigration Referrals by Police Draw Scrutiny”, in New York Times[2]:
      Scott Weber, the field office director for the enforcement office in Newark, said that in roughly a third of the cases, his agency would file a detainer or immigration charges; another third involved individuals who could be deported after their court cases; and the rest might be United States citizens or legal residents.
    • 2008 April 13, Christine Hauser, “U.S. Officials Are Expected to Charge Police Officer”, in New York Times[3]:
      Officer Torres’s lawyer, Paul S. Missan, said on Saturday that he had been told by a prison official in Pennsylvania that a detainer was lodged against his client, meaning he was likely to face federal charges.
  2. One who detains.
    • 1840, Ellen Pickering, Who shall be heir?, volume 1, page 146:
      [] he chatted gaily with his fair detainer, showing no inclination to escape from the bondage in which she sought to retain him.