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Case Name Tuong Huan Van Dinh v. Reno IM-CO-0007
Docket / Court 98-K-926 ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
In March 1998, plaintiff Tuong Huan Van Dinh, a lawful permanent resident alien facing deportation because of a criminal conviction, filed a habeas corpus action in the District Court for the District of Colorado, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, challenging the ... read more >
In March 1998, plaintiff Tuong Huan Van Dinh, a lawful permanent resident alien facing deportation because of a criminal conviction, filed a habeas corpus action in the District Court for the District of Colorado, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, challenging the constitutionality of holding deported aliens indefinitely when their country of origin refused to allow them reentry. Subsequent to the suit being filed, plaintiff received notice that he and other immigration detainees might be transferred from the facility in Aurora, Colorado to other facilities due to a contract dispute with the facility operator.

On April 24 1998, plaintiff filed an amended application for habeas corpus, challenging the possibility of his transfer as being an unconstitutional, denial of his right to counsel if moved to a remote area. He requested class certification and a TRO to prevent transfer of all detainees outside of the Denver-area. The District Court issued a TRO, suspending any detainee transfers until a hearing set on April 27.

On April 26, 1998, plaintiff and other immigrant detainees filed a separate class action lawsuit under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 91 S.Ct. 1999, 29 L.Ed.2d 619 (1971). In that suit, plaintiffs requested injunctive relief restraining all alien transfers until the detainees were able to consult with local counsel. Plaintiffs also moved for class certification and to consolidate the case with Tuong's original habeas action.

The government moved to dismiss both cases for lack of jurisdiction.

At the April 27 TRO hearing, the government advised the Court that it reached a temporary contract extension for its facility in Aurora, Colorado, making the TRO moot. A long term contract was subsequently entered and the parties eventually reached a stipulation with regard to Tuong's bail, resolving his habeas case.

As the government was no longer transferring detainees from Aurora, Colorado, it moved to dismiss as moot the Bivens class action. Plaintiffs filed a response, agreeing that the case was moot, but requesting attorneys fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), 28 U.S.C.S. ยง 2412(d)(1)(A). The District Court refused to award attorneys fees, concluding that plaintiffs had not shown that they were the prevailing party. Plaintiffs appealed.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the District Court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the case. The judgment was vacated and the case was remanded for dismissal with prejudice. Van Dinh v. Reno, 197 F.3d 427 (10th Cir. 1999).

Dan Dalton - 11/15/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Bivens
Defendant(s) United States Immigration and Naturalization Service
Plaintiff Description Alien incarcerated pending deportation requesting injunction relief against proposed transfer to another facility.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
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 2000
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)
1:98-cv-00926-JLK (D. Colo.) 01/31/2000
IM-CO-0007-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:98-cv-00652-JLK (D. Colo.) 02/22/2000
IM-CO-0007-9001 PDF | Detail
98-1312 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 08/11/2003
IM-CO-0007-9002 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Order [Remanding Case for Dismissal] 11/18/1999 (197 F.3d 427)
IM-CO-0007-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Kane, John L. Jr. (D. Colo.)
IM-CO-0007-9000 | IM-CO-0007-9001
McKay, Monroe G. (Tenth Circuit)
IM-CO-0007-0001
Murphy, Michael R. (Tenth Circuit)
IM-CO-0007-0001
Tacha, Deanell Reece (Tenth Circuit)
IM-CO-0007-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Salvator, Jim (Colorado)
IM-CO-0007-0001 | IM-CO-0007-9000 | IM-CO-0007-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Hegarty, Michael E. (Colorado)
IM-CO-0007-0001 | IM-CO-0007-9000 | IM-CO-0007-9001
Howard, William J. (District of Columbia)
IM-CO-0007-0001
Kline, David J. (District of Columbia)
IM-CO-0007-0001
McMahon, Linda A. (Colorado)
IM-CO-0007-0001
Pestal, Mark S. (Colorado)
IM-CO-0007-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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