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Case Name Ramos v. Ashcroft IM-IL-0012
Docket / Court 1:02-CV-08266 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Immigration
Attorney Organization MALDEF
Case Summary
On November 15, 2002, eleven immigrant plaintiffs filed this class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging that the Chicago office of the INS violated laws, regulations, and INS procedures by accepting prematurely-filed applications for residence ... read more >
On November 15, 2002, eleven immigrant plaintiffs filed this class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging that the Chicago office of the INS violated laws, regulations, and INS procedures by accepting prematurely-filed applications for residence between January 29, 1997 and April 30, 2001. Plaintiffs alleged that after processing the applications, the INS kept the application filing fees and then used information in the applications to investigate and institute removal proceedings against the applicants, in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. § 706; procedural and substantive due process; and equal protection. Attorneys with the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund, the Midwest Immigrant & Human Rights Center and private firms represented plaintiffs. They sought declaratory and equitable relief.

A different group of plaintiffs had previously challenged the same conduct in a 2001 lawsuit which asserted a different legal theory. That case, Ramos v. Ashcroft, No. 01-CV-2633, was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. See Ramos v. Ashcroft, 2002 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 1918 (Feb. 2, 2002) Three of the plaintiffs in the 2001 suit, along with 8 new plaintiffs filed the 2002 case.

Defendants again moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The District Court (Judge David H. Coar) denied that motion. See Ramos v. Ashcroft, 2003 F.Supp.2d, 2004 WL 161520 (N.D.Ill. Feb. 14, 2003). Defendants then moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Judge Coar denied the motion as to plaintiffs' Administrative Procedures Act but granted it as to plaintiffs' other claim. Ramos v. Ashcroft, F.Supp.2d, 2004 WL 22282521 (N.D.Ill., Jan. 16, 2004). The case was then transferred to Judge Mark Filip.

Extensive and lengthy settlement negotiations followed, and the parties ultimately reached a resolution. The Court (Judge Filip) preliminarily approved the settlement, pending a fairness hearing on June 10, 2005. Final approval was granted by an order dated August 11, 2005.

Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the government stipulated to certification of the case as a class action, with the class consisting of: "all persons who applied for permanent residence (a green card) pursuant to Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act between 1/29/97 and 4/30/01 in the Chicago Office of the former INS, but who were not then eligible to be approved, because (1) a visa petition was filed before April 30, 2001, but was not yet "current" when the residence application was filed (Class 1); or (2) a visa petition had not been filed for the applicant (Class 2)." The Agreement provided that class members (1) could apply for a credit for application fees for their residence applications; (2) if they were in removal proceedings, could seek the government's agreement to terminate those proceedings for humanitarian reasons within six months of the agreement; and (3) if were not then in removal proceedings, could benefit from a decision not to begin removal proceedings on the basis of their applications. The government also agreed to pay $90,000 in fees to the class counsel for plaintiffs.

Dan Dalton - 11/18/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Search policies
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - judicial review
Deportation - procedure
Status/Classification
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Bivens
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
Plaintiff Description All persons who applied for permanent residence (a green card) pursuant to Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act between 1/29/97 and 4/30/01 in the Chicago Office of the former INS, but who were not then eligible to be approved.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations MALDEF
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2005 - 2007
Case Closing Year 2007
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)
1:02-cv-08266 (N.D. Ill.) 08/12/2005
IM-IL-0012-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Re: Dismiss] 02/07/2002 (2002 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 1918) (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0012-0009.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Complaint 11/15/2002
IM-IL-0012-0005.pdf | Detail
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 02/14/2003
IM-IL-0012-0006.pdf | Detail
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Re: Motion to Dismiss] 09/30/2003 (2003 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 17426) (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0012-0010.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Re: Dismiss] 01/16/2004 (2004 WL 161520) (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0012-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Second Amended Complaint 01/26/2004
IM-IL-0012-0007.pdf | Detail
Summary Notice of Pendency of Class Action and Settlement 01/01/2005
IM-IL-0012-0002.pdf | Detail
Parties' Agreed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement 03/30/2005
IM-IL-0012-0003.pdf | Detail
Notice of Class Action Settlement 04/29/2005
IM-IL-0012-0001.pdf | Detail
Agreed Motion Adopt the Parties' Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law 07/21/2005
IM-IL-0012-0004.pdf | Detail
Judges Coar, David H. (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0012-0008 | IM-IL-0012-0009 | IM-IL-0012-0010
Filip, Mark R. (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0012-0004 | IM-IL-0012-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Albiol, Sioban L. (Illinois)
IM-IL-0012-0009
McCarthy, Mary Margaret (Illinois)
IM-IL-0012-0002 | IM-IL-0012-0003 | IM-IL-0012-0004 | IM-IL-0012-0005 | IM-IL-0012-0006 | IM-IL-0012-0007 | IM-IL-0012-0008 | IM-IL-0012-0009 | IM-IL-0012-0010 | IM-IL-0012-9000
Mendoza, Patricia (Illinois)
IM-IL-0012-0005 | IM-IL-0012-0006 | IM-IL-0012-0008 | IM-IL-0012-0010 | IM-IL-0012-9000
Palumbo, Lisa J (Illinois)
IM-IL-0012-0009
Rivas, Alonzo (Illinois)
IM-IL-0012-0002 | IM-IL-0012-0003 | IM-IL-0012-0004 | IM-IL-0012-0005 | IM-IL-0012-0006 | IM-IL-0012-0007 | IM-IL-0012-0008 | IM-IL-0012-0010 | IM-IL-0012-9000
Roth, Charles G. (Illinois)
IM-IL-0012-0002 | IM-IL-0012-0003 | IM-IL-0012-0004 | IM-IL-0012-0005 | IM-IL-0012-0006 | IM-IL-0012-0007 | IM-IL-0012-0008 | IM-IL-0012-0009 | IM-IL-0012-0010 | IM-IL-0012-9000
Saltzman, Steven I. (Illinois)
IM-IL-0012-0002 | IM-IL-0012-0003 | IM-IL-0012-0004 | IM-IL-0012-0005 | IM-IL-0012-0006 | IM-IL-0012-0007 | IM-IL-0012-0008 | IM-IL-0012-0010 | IM-IL-0012-9000
Sanchez, Jorge (Illinois)
IM-IL-0012-0002 | IM-IL-0012-9000
Waldman, Carol Anne (Illinois)
IM-IL-0012-0009
White, Diana (Illinois)
IM-IL-0012-0009
Defendant's Lawyers McNulty, Sheila (Illinois)
IM-IL-0012-0004 | IM-IL-0012-0006 | IM-IL-0012-0008 | IM-IL-0012-0009 | IM-IL-0012-9000
Oswald, Craig A (Illinois)
IM-IL-0012-0004 | IM-IL-0012-0006
Walsh, Thomas P. (Illinois)
IM-IL-0012-0004 | IM-IL-0012-0006
Other Lawyers None on record

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