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Case Name Roshandel v. Chertoff IM-WA-0015
Docket / Court 2:07-cv-01739-MJP ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Immigration
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On October 29, 2007, attorneys with the ACLU of Washington, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and private counsel filed a class action suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on behalf of lawful permanent residents of the United States whose naturalization ... read more >
On October 29, 2007, attorneys with the ACLU of Washington, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and private counsel filed a class action suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on behalf of lawful permanent residents of the United States whose naturalization applications had been pending for over two years with the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services ("CIS"), awaiting the results of a FBI "name check." Plaintiffs asserted that the unreasonable delays caused by the FBI "name check" process violated the Administration Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 701, et seq. Plaintiffs requested that the Court grant plaintiffs' naturalization applications pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1447(b), or in the alternative, compel the government to render decisions on them. Plaintiffs sought additional declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as class certification.

Plaintiffs proposed certification of a class consisting of all persons residing in the Western District of Washington who have submitted naturalization applications to CIS and whose naturalization applications are not adjudicated within 120 days of the date of their initial exam due to pendency of a "name check."

On April 25, 2008, the District Court (Judge Marsha J. Pechman) certified the proposed class. Roshandel v. Chertoff, 554 F. Supp. 2d 1194 (W.D. Wash. 2008). The Court granted a joint motion by the parties to amend the class definition on June 3, clarifying the class's temporal and geographic scope. Roshandel v. Chertoff, No. 2:07-cv-01739, 2008 WL 2275558 (W.D. Wash. June 3, 2008).

Meanwhile, on January 8, 2008, the defendants had filed a motion to dismiss or remand to CIS for adjudication. The Court (Judge Pechman) denied this motion on May 5, striking some aspects of the motion to dismiss as outside of the complaint, finding the others to be without merit, and finding the arguments for remand to be inapplicable in light of class certification and the addition of more named plaintiffs to the amended complaint. Roshandel v. Chertoff, No. 2:07-cv-01739, 2008 WL 1969646, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90899 (W.D. Wash. May 5, 2008).

On May 29, 2008, the plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of the class members' right to a judicial determination of application for naturalization pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1447(b). The Court never ruled on the motion, however, as the parties came to a settlement on August 11. The agreement set out a timeline for adjudication of class members' applications and subsequent naturalization proceedings, and gave the Court continued jurisdiction to enforce its terms. It also required defendants to pay plaintiffs' counsel $185,000 in fees and costs.

The Court approved the settlement on August 25, 2008, and remanded to CIS to adjudicate the class members' claims. By November 20, 2008, all claims had been adjudicated, and thus the settlement agreement was terminated and the case was dismissed.

Christopher Schad - 07/03/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Status/Classification
U.S. citizenship - acquiring
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Homeland Security
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”)
Plaintiff Description All lawful permanent residents of the U.S. residing in the Western District of Washington who had submitted naturalization applications to USCIS and (1) whose applications were not determined within 120 days of the date of their initial examination, (2) whose name checks remained pending on the 120th day after their initial examination, (3) whose FBI name checks remained pending on October 29, 2007, and (4) whose applications were not adjudicated as of April 25, 2008.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
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 2008 - 2008
Case Closing Year 2008
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)
2:07-cv-01739-MJP (W.D. Wash.) 12/08/2008
IM-WA-0015-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint - Class Action 04/08/2008
IM-WA-0015-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification 04/25/2008 (554 F.Supp.2d 1194) (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0015-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Government's Motion to Dismiss and/or Remand 05/05/2008 (2008 WL 1969646 / 2008 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 90899) (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0015-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 05/29/2008
IM-WA-0015-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Joint Motion to Amend Class Definition 06/03/2008 (2008 WL 2275558) (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0015-0003 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement and Release 08/11/2008
IM-WA-0015-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Class-Wide Remand 08/25/2008 (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0015-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Final Approval of Settlement Agreement 08/25/2008 (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0015-0009 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Pechman, Marsha J. (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0015-0002 | IM-WA-0015-0003 | IM-WA-0015-0004 | IM-WA-0015-0007 | IM-WA-0015-0008 | IM-WA-0015-0009 | IM-WA-0015-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adams, Matthew (Washington)
IM-WA-0015-0001 | IM-WA-0015-9000
Caplan, Aaron H. (Washington)
IM-WA-0015-0001 | IM-WA-0015-9000
Day, Alfred Arthur (Washington)
IM-WA-0015-0001 | IM-WA-0015-0006 | IM-WA-0015-0007 | IM-WA-0015-9000
Dunne, Sarah A. (Washington)
IM-WA-0015-0001 | IM-WA-0015-9000
Latsinova, Rita (Washington)
IM-WA-0015-0001 | IM-WA-0015-0007 | IM-WA-0015-9000
Strawn, Christopher (Washington)
IM-WA-0015-0001 | IM-WA-0015-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Chan, Priscilla To-Yin (Washington)
IM-WA-0015-9000
Cohen, Rebecca Shapiro (Washington)
IM-WA-0015-0007 | IM-WA-0015-9000
Safavi, Nancy (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0015-0007 | IM-WA-0015-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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