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Case Name Phillips v. Brock IM-MD-0002
Docket / Court H-85-2742 ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On June 25, 1985, domestic farmworkers brought a nationwide class action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland seeking declaratory and injunctive relief requiring agricultural employers who hired temporary alien workers under the "H-2" program to provide free housing for U.S. ... read more >
On June 25, 1985, domestic farmworkers brought a nationwide class action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland seeking declaratory and injunctive relief requiring agricultural employers who hired temporary alien workers under the "H-2" program to provide free housing for U.S. workers. Plaintiffs maintained that the Department of Labor's interpretation of regulation 20 C.F.R. § 655.202(b)(1) as not requiring free employer-provided housing for domestic workers, was directly contrary to the regulation's plain language.



The Department of Labor denied the allegations and sought dismissal of the case. The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association and the United States Sugar Corporation intervened in support of the defendant. By an order dated June 18, 1986, the Court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss, ruling that it could not determine the issue presented until the parties developed the facts of the case.

Plaintiffs moved for class certification, and the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The District Court (Chief Judge Alexander Harvey, II) certified the case as a nationwide class action, but entered judgment for defendants and intervening defendants. Phillips v. Brock, 652 F.Supp. 1372 (D.Md.1987). Plaintiffs appealed.

While the case was on appeal, the Department of Labor published an interim final rule, C.F.R. § 655.102(b)(1) (1988), that created a new "H-2A" program. The new rule contained a provision which required employers in the program to provide housing to domestic workers "who are not reasonably able to return to their residence within the same working day."

The Court of Appeals (Chief Judge Harrison L. Winter) held in light of the new interim final rule, the plaintiffs' claims were moot. The District Court judgment was vacated and remanded with instructions to enter an order dismissing this action as moot. Phillips v. McLaughlin, 854 F.2d 673 (4th Cir. 1988).

Dan Dalton - 11/19/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Employment
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Labor
Plaintiff Description All persons who, whether U.S. nationals, citizens or aliens, are legally permitted to work permanently in the U.S. and who, since 1981, have sought or will seek employment with any agricultural employers under the “H-2 program.”
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 not on record
Case Closing Year 1988
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)
1:85-cv-2742-AH (D. Md.) 02/04/1987
IM-MD-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
[Opinion] 02/03/1987 (652 F.Supp. 1372) (D. Md.)
IM-MD-0002-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Appellate Opinion 08/19/1988 (854 F.2d 673)
IM-MD-0002-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Harvey, Alexander II (D. Md.)
IM-MD-0002-0001 | IM-MD-0002-9000
Murnaghan, Francis Dominic Jr. (Fourth Circuit)
IM-MD-0002-0002
Ramsey, Norman Park (D. Md.)
IM-MD-0002-0002
Winter, Harrison Lee (Fourth Circuit, D. Md.)
IM-MD-0002-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Geffert, Garry C. (West Virginia)
IM-MD-0002-0002
Schell, Gregory Scott (Florida)
IM-MD-0002-0001 | IM-MD-0002-0002
Schofield, Robert M (District of Columbia)
IM-MD-0002-0001
Tuddenham, Edward J. (District of Columbia)
IM-MD-0002-0001 | IM-MD-0002-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Arnell, Wendy P (Maryland)
IM-MD-0002-0001
Buckley, Frank (District of Columbia)
IM-MD-0002-0001
Feldman, Allen H (District of Columbia)
IM-MD-0002-0002
Gisriel, Thomas J (Maryland)
IM-MD-0002-0002
Hennemuth, Jeffrey A. (District of Columbia)
IM-MD-0002-0002
Kelso, Charles (Georgia)
IM-MD-0002-0002
Lemmer, Don S (Georgia)
IM-MD-0002-0001 | IM-MD-0002-0002
Mandel, Steven J (District of Columbia)
IM-MD-0002-0002
Pointer, Ann Margaret (Georgia)
IM-MD-0002-0001 | IM-MD-0002-0002
Salem, George R (District of Columbia)
IM-MD-0002-0002
Other Lawyers Garcia, Isidro (Florida)
IM-MD-0002-0002

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