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Case Name Martinez v. Bell IM-NY-0028
Docket / Court 77 Civ. 5964 (GLG) ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
In 1977, American citizen children, represented by their alien parents, brought action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, challenging the constitutionality of Section 212(a)(14) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the "Act"), 8 U.S.C. s 1182(a)(14), as ... read more >
In 1977, American citizen children, represented by their alien parents, brought action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, challenging the constitutionality of Section 212(a)(14) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the "Act"), 8 U.S.C. s 1182(a)(14), as amended in 1976, repealing the privilege of Western Hemisphere parents of citizen children to obtain priority status on consular waiting lists to become legal permanent residents.

Defendants moved to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, failure to exhaust administrative remedies, and failure to state a claim. Plaintiffs countered with a motion for summary judgment.

The District Court (Judge Goettel) denied the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and granted the defendants' motion to dismiss. The Court found that it had jurisdiction to hear the case, but refused to find that children born during the life of the Western Hemisphere privilege had a vested constitutional right to obtain priority status for their alien parents following 1976 amendment. Martinez v. Bell, 468 F.Supp. 719 (S.D.N.Y. 1979). Defendants' subsequent request to amend the Court's judgment was denied. Martinez v. Bell, 1979 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12614 (S.D.N.Y. May 3, 1979).

Dan Dalton - 11/20/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Family
Status/Classification
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. ยงยง 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) Attorney General of the United States
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Secretary of State
Plaintiff Description American citizen children seeking to resort the privilege of Western Hemisphere parents of citizen children to obtain priority status on consular waiting lists to become legal permanent residents.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1979
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 04/05/1979 (468 F.Supp. 719) (S.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0028-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 05/03/1979 (1979 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 12614) (S.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0028-0002 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Judges Goettel, Gerard Louis (S.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
IM-NY-0028-0001 | IM-NY-0028-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Biervliet, Julius C. (New York)
IM-NY-0028-0001
Dicker, Morton B (New York)
IM-NY-0028-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Belote, Thomas H. (New York)
IM-NY-0028-0001
Fiske, Robert B. Jr. (New York)
IM-NY-0028-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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