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Case Name Rodriguez v. United States IM-FL-0015
Docket / Court 1:97-cv-01182-DLG ( S.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On April 23, 1997, two different groups of plaintiffs filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to challenge a provision of the Congress' Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 ("Welfare Reform Act"), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1601, et. seq., ... read more >
On April 23, 1997, two different groups of plaintiffs filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to challenge a provision of the Congress' Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 ("Welfare Reform Act"), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1601, et. seq., which made undocumented aliens ineligible for state funded public benefits, except for emergency care, certain immunizations, and treatment of communicable diseases. One group of plaintiffs ("the plaintiff class") sought to represent the approximately 80,000 poor individuals who were blind, elderly or disabled legal non-citizens residing in Florida who were to be denied or would lose federal Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") and related Food Stamp benefits solely because of their non-citizen status. The other group ("Florida State Plaintiffs") consisted of Florida state, county, and public officials.

The plaintiff class, which was represented by the Florida Justice Institute, raised a claim that the Welfare Reform Act violated their rights secured by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Florida State plaintiffs asserted violations of the Administrative Procedure Act and the Tenth Amendment, as well as a claim for breach of contract.

Plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction. Defendants responded by moving to dismiss the entire case.

The District Court (Judge Donald L. Graham) granted defendants' motion to dismiss in part and denied it in part and denied plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction. Judge Graham dismissed the plaintiff class' Equal Protection claim and the Florida State plaintiffs' Tenth Amendment claim and contract claim. The Administrative Procedure Act claims survived. Rodriguez v. United States, 983 F.Supp. 1445 (S.D. 1997). The plaintiff class appealed.

The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (Circuit Judge Carnes) affirmed. Rodriguez ex rel. Rodriguez v. U.S., 169 F.3d 1342 (11th Cir. 1999).

It is unclear as to what happened to the Florida State plaintiffs' Administrative Procedure Act claims. There is no mention of any disposition of those claims in the PACER docket. The last docket entry reflects that the case was closed after the Eleventh Circuit issued its opinion.

Dan Dalton - 11/12/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Status/Classification
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Bivens
Defendant(s) United States
United States
United States
Plaintiff Description Poor, elderly, disabled, or blind non-citizens legally residing in Florida eligible for federal SSI and Food Stamps, who will lose that eligibility because of the Welfare Act.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1997 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1999
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)
97-5812-CC (U.S. Court of Appeals) 05/11/1999
IM-FL-0015-9001 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:97-cv-01182-DLG (S.D. Fla.) 06/24/1999
IM-FL-0015-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 04/24/1997
IM-FL-0015-0001 PDF | Detail
Stipulated Class Certification and Scheduling Order 05/14/1997 (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0015-0002 PDF | Detail
Order [Dismissing Some Counts; Denying Preliminary Injunction] 09/17/1997 (983 F.Supp. 1445) (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0015-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Final Judgment and [...] Certification as to Count One 10/30/1997 (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0015-0003 PDF | Detail
Opinion [Affirming D.C. Judgment] 03/15/1999 (169 F.3d 1342)
IM-FL-0015-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Black, Susan Harrell (M.D. Fla., Eleventh Circuit)
IM-FL-0015-0005
Carnes, Edward Earl (Eleventh Circuit)
IM-FL-0015-0005
Graham, Donald L. (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0015-0002 | IM-FL-0015-0003 | IM-FL-0015-0004 | IM-FL-0015-9000
Tjoflat, Gerald Bard (Fifth Circuit, M.D. Fla., Eleventh Circuit)
IM-FL-0015-0005
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berg, Randall Challen Jr. (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001 | IM-FL-0015-0004 | IM-FL-0015-0005 | IM-FL-0015-9000 | IM-FL-0015-9001
Butterworth, Robert A. (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001
Coleman, Karon Margaret (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001 | IM-FL-0015-0004 | IM-FL-0015-9000
Doran, Richard Edward (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001 | IM-FL-0015-0004 | IM-FL-0015-9000
Douglass, W. Dexter (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001 | IM-FL-0015-0004 | IM-FL-0015-9000
Duvall, Robert A III (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001
Ginsburg, Robert A (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001
Gross, Michael A. (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001 | IM-FL-0015-0004 | IM-FL-0015-9000
Hoffman, Jerome Wayne (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001 | IM-FL-0015-0004 | IM-FL-0015-9000
Martinez, Ana Cristina (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001 | IM-FL-0015-0004 | IM-FL-0015-9000
Newman, JoNel (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001 | IM-FL-0015-0004 | IM-FL-0015-0005 | IM-FL-0015-9000 | IM-FL-0015-9001
Nimkoff, Peter (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001 | IM-FL-0015-0005 | IM-FL-0015-9001
Saideman, Ellen Marjorie (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001 | IM-FL-0015-0004 | IM-FL-0015-0005 | IM-FL-0015-9000
Schlakman, Mark Robert (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001 | IM-FL-0015-0004 | IM-FL-0015-9000
Siegel, Peter Michael (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001 | IM-FL-0015-0004 | IM-FL-0015-0005 | IM-FL-0015-9000
Thompson, Parker D. (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0001 | IM-FL-0015-0004 | IM-FL-0015-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hermann, Robyn Juanita (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0005 | IM-FL-0015-9000 | IM-FL-0015-9001
Jordan, Adalberto Jose (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0005
Juenke, Carlos (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-9001
Labrador, Edward George (Florida)
IM-FL-0015-0004
Raab, Michael S. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0015-0005 | IM-FL-0015-9001
Simon, Maria (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0015-0005
Stern, Mark B. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0015-0005 | IM-FL-0015-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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