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Case Name Pearl Meadows Mushroom Farm, Inc. v. Nelson IM-CA-0040
Docket / Court 5:82-cv-01896 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration
Attorney Organization ACLU National Prison Project
Case Summary
In 1982, a labor union, businesses, and individuals filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. They challenged immigration raids which occurred during the week of April 16, 1982, as part of "Project Jobs," a nation-wide enforcement action ... read more >
In 1982, a labor union, businesses, and individuals filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. They challenged immigration raids which occurred during the week of April 16, 1982, as part of "Project Jobs," a nation-wide enforcement action conducted by the INS and Border Patrol agents. The plaintiffs alleged that the workplace raids, which the government called "surveys" or "control operations," resulted in U.S. citizens and lawful resident aliens being unlawfully detained, interrogated, harassed, assaulted, transported, and falsely arrested solely because of their race, national origin, ancestry, and/or language, in violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, monetary damages, and class certification.

Attorneys with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, California Rural Legal Assistance, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California, Inc., the National Lawyers Guild, the Employment Law Center, and private law firms represented the plaintiffs.

The District Court (Judge Robert P. Aguilar) certified the case as a class action, over objection of the defendants. International Molders' and Allied Workers' Local Union No. 164 v. Nelson, 102 F.R.D. 457 (N.D.Cal. Dec. 19, 1983). Then, the plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction to prohibit raids of factories absent either voluntary employer consent, unprovoked exigent circumstances, or a valid and specific search warrant. Judge Aguilar issued the requested preliminary injunction and refused to stay the order pending appeal. International Molders' and Allied Workers' Local Union No. 164 v. Nelson, 643 F.Supp. 884 (N.D. Cal. 1986). The government appealed.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Eugene A. Wright, Circuit Judge) remanded the case with instructions to modify the scope of the injunction. International Molders' and Allied Workers' Local Union No. 164 v. Nelson, 799 F.2d 547 (9th Cir. 1986).

On remand, both parties moved for partial summary judgment. The District Court (Judge Aguilar) granted partial summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs, finding that the search warrant used at the raid of the Petaluma Poultry plant was invalid. The defendants' cross-motion was denied. International Molders v. Nelson, 674 F.Supp. 294 (N.D. Cal. 1987). Subsequently, the plaintiffs amended their complaint to assert an additional claim that as a pattern and practice, the INS employs general warrants to gain entry to businesses and seize unnamed "others." The case then proceeded to trial.

At trial, the plaintiffs presented evidence for four months before resting their case-in-chief. The evidence included testimony and documents regarding the INS' use of general warrants at thirty-one different businesses. The defendants moved for a dismissal at the close of the plaintiffs' evidence. The Court denied the motion, finding that "the individually named plaintiffs and the plaintiff class have presented evidence in their case-in-chief to prove each of their claims by a preponderance of the evidence. Through the evidence of INS conduct at businesses other than those of the named employers, plaintiffs have shown the existence of a pattern and practice of unconstitutional entries into workplaces." Pearl Meadows Mushroom Farm, Inc. v. Nelson, 723 F.Supp. 432 (N.D.Cal.,1989). The exact progression of the case thereafter is unclear, as there is no docket available.

We do know that the case was eventually settled. On December 11, 1991, the District Court (Magistrate Judge Edward A. Infante) entered a declaratory judgment approving the parties' settlement agreement. The judgment set parameters for (1) entry by immigration officials into workplaces during workplace surveys (valid warrant, consent and exigent circumstances) (2) detentions during workplace surveys (arrests, persons detained, use of force).

Dan Dalton - 11/30/2007
Allison Hight - 10/19/2015

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
National origin discrimination
Border police
Constitutional rights
National Origin/Ethnicity
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Bivens
Defendant(s) Immigration and Naturalization Service
United States Border Patrol
Plaintiff Description All persons of Hispanic or other Latin American ancestry, residing within the jurisdiction of the INS San Francisco Office who have in the past, are now, or may in the future be subject to raids by INS and/or the Border Patrol at places of employment.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU National Prison Project
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1991 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
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 ]

5:82−cv−01896 (N.D. Cal.) 03/13/1992
IM-CA-0040-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion and Order [Re: Class Certification] 12/19/1983 (102 F.R.D. 457) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0040-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Second Amended Order Granting Preliminary Injunction and Denying Stay 09/04/1986 (643 F.Supp. 884) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0040-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
[Appellate Opinion] 12/01/1986 (799 F.2d 547)
IM-CA-0040-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Denying Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 11/24/1987 (674 F.Supp. 294) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0040-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Amended Order Denying Rule 41(b) Motion 08/24/1989 (723 F.Supp. 432) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0040-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Declaratory Judgment 12/17/1991 (1991 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 19726) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0040-0006 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Judges Aguilar, Robert Peter (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0040-0001 | IM-CA-0040-0003 | IM-CA-0040-0004 | IM-CA-0040-0005
Farris, Joseph Jerome (Ninth Circuit)
Infante, Edward A. (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
Rhoades, John Skylstead Sr. (S.D. Cal.)
Ware, James (N.D. Cal.)
Wright, Eugene Allen (Ninth Circuit)
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Avila, Joaquin G. (California)
Baller, Morris J. (California)
IM-CA-0040-0001 | IM-CA-0040-0005
Berry, David (California)
Boone, Dan (California)
Brick, Steven A (California)
Brown, Susan E. (California)
IM-CA-0040-0001 | IM-CA-0040-0002 | IM-CA-0040-0003 | IM-CA-0040-0005
Cohen, Morton P. (California)
Cohn, Mort (California)
Crosby, Margaret C. (California)
IM-CA-0040-0003 | IM-CA-0040-0005
Fishman, Charlotte (California)
IM-CA-0040-0002 | IM-CA-0040-0005
Grabill, David (California)
IM-CA-0040-0001 | IM-CA-0040-0003 | IM-CA-0040-0005
Hernandez, Antonia (California)
Hing, Bill Ong (California)
Huerta, John E. (California)
Hulett, Denise M. (California)
Jee, Lynette (California)
Larson, E. Richard (California)
May, William (California)
Moses, Barbara (California)
Nockleby, John T. (California)
Rosenfeld, David Albert (California)
Schlosser, Alan Lawrence (California)
IM-CA-0040-0001 | IM-CA-0040-0002 | IM-CA-0040-0003 | IM-CA-0040-0005
Schwartz, Amitai (California)
IM-CA-0040-0004 | IM-CA-0040-0005
Steinberg, Kip (California)
IM-CA-0040-0001 | IM-CA-0040-0005
Tamayo, William Robert (California)
IM-CA-0040-0001 | IM-CA-0040-0005
True, John M (California)
IM-CA-0040-0003 | IM-CA-0040-0004
Van Der Hout, Marc (California)
Wong, Linda J. (California)
Defendant's Lawyers Bupara, Patrick R.S (California)
IM-CA-0040-0001 | IM-CA-0040-0004 | IM-CA-0040-0005
Kline, David J. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0040-0001 | IM-CA-0040-0003 | IM-CA-0040-0004
Russoneillo, Joseph P. (California)
IM-CA-0040-0003 | IM-CA-0040-0004
Shapiro, Ellen Sue (District of Columbia)
Singh, Parker (District of Columbia)
Stern, Mark B. (District of Columbia)
Whetstine, Judith (California)
IM-CA-0040-0001 | IM-CA-0040-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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