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Case Name Ahmadi v. Chertoff IM-CA-0058
Docket / Court 07-3455-WHA ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Case Summary
On July 2, 2007, plaintiffs who had voluntarily dismissed their claims in a prior lawsuit styled Zhang v. Gonzales [IM-CA-0055 of this collection] refiled their claims in a new case in the U.S. District Court California Northern ... read more >
On July 2, 2007, plaintiffs who had voluntarily dismissed their claims in a prior lawsuit styled Zhang v. Gonzales [IM-CA-0055 of this collection] refiled their claims in a new case in the U.S. District Court California Northern District. The refiled case was styled Ahmadi v. Chertoff, 07-3455-WHA. Plaintiffs filed a first amended complaint on August 10, 2007.

The Ahamdi amended complaint alleged that plaintiffs were all long-time lawful permanent residents of the United States whose naturalization applications had been pending for over two years with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS"), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, awaiting the results of an "FBI name check." Plaintiffs asserted that the unreasonable delays caused by the FBI name check process violated the Administrative Procedures Act and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Plaintiffs sought a judicial determination of naturalization applications pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1447(b), as well as other declaratory and injunctive relief. Attorneys with the Asian Law Caucus, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation Immigrants Rights Project, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, Inc. and the Council on American-Islamic Relations represented the plaintiffs.

Several of the plaintiffs subsequently dismissed their claims because their naturalization applications had been accepted or their FBI name checks were finally completed.

The U.S. denied the plaintiffs' allegations and moved to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. Plaintiffs moved for class certification on September 5, 2007. Ruling on that motion was deferred until the Court ruled on the government's motions to dismiss.

On October 15, 2007, the District Court (Judge William H. Alsup) granted in part and denied in part the government's motion to dismiss. The Court refused to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction, but dismissed plaintiffs' claims under the Administrative Procedure Act and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment for failure to state a claim. Ahmadi v. Chertoff, 2007 WL 3022573 (N.D.Cal. Oct. 15, 2007).

In April 2008, the court granted the Plaintiffs permission to file a Third Amended Complaint, and denied class action status. On July 20, 2008, in response to Third Amended Complaint and upon Plaintiffs' motion, relief was granted in the form an Order for Voluntary Dismissal, Remand, and Dismissal of Claims. USCIS had failed to adjudicate Plaintiffs' applications with the 120-day time line, which, the Court found, began to run after their naturalization interviews, contrary to the government's contention that the 120 window for adjudication did not being until after the name-check was completed. One Plaintiff was dismissed as his claim had become moot, his application was accepted, and dismissal was necessary for him to take his oath of citizenship. Remand, the effective remedy, was granted to two Plaintiffs to USCIS for instructions do adjudicate their applications within the 120 day limit. The case was to remain open until such action was certified to the court, and required to be done so by August 18, 2008. Their applications were accepted the next day. Claims regarding the APA and a writ of mandamus compelling completion of background checks were dismissed as moot per Plaintiff's argument. The case was closed on August 4, 2008, after certification of adjudication of Plaintiffs' applications.

Dan Dalton - 11/06/2007
Carlos Torres - 06/24/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Constitutional rights
U.S. citizenship - acquiring
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
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 Plaintiffs were individuals who had submitted naturalization applications to USCIS, and who met all statutory requirements for naturalization, but whose naturalization applications were not adjudicated within 120 days of the date of their initial exam. Class action was denied.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2008 - 2008
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing IM-CA-0055 : Zhang v. Gonzales (N.D. Cal.)
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)
3:07-cv-03455-WHA (N.D. Cal.) 10/30/2007
IM-CA-0058-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint [] 08/10/2007
IM-CA-0058-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Dismissal of Claims of Plaintiffs Miao Ling Huang and Fu Zhong 08/10/2007
IM-CA-0058-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 10/15/2007 (2007 WL 3022573) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0058-0009 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Second Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Petition for Naturalization Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1447(B) 11/15/2007
IM-CA-0058-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Answer to Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint 11/30/2007
IM-CA-0058-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Rule 54(b) Judgment 04/25/2008 (2008 WL 1886001) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0058-0004 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Amended Complaint 05/15/2008
IM-CA-0058-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Answer to Plaintiffs' Third Amended Complaint 05/30/2008
IM-CA-0058-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order: (1) Granting Plaintiff's Request for Voluntary Dismissal; (2) Granting in Part Defendants' Motion to Remand; and (3) Granting Plaintiff's Request to Dismiss Second and Third Claims as Moot 07/18/2008 (2008 WL 2788317) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0058-0007 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Alsup, William Haskell (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0058-0004 | IM-CA-0058-0007 | IM-CA-0058-0009 | IM-CA-0058-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gallinger, Todd (California)
IM-CA-0058-0001 | IM-CA-0058-0002 | IM-CA-0058-0003 | IM-CA-0058-0006 | IM-CA-0058-0009 | IM-CA-0058-9000
Guttentag, Lucas (California)
IM-CA-0058-0001 | IM-CA-0058-0002 | IM-CA-0058-0003 | IM-CA-0058-0006 | IM-CA-0058-0009 | IM-CA-0058-9000
Ling, Sin Yen (California)
IM-CA-0058-0001 | IM-CA-0058-0002 | IM-CA-0058-0003 | IM-CA-0058-0006
Lyons, Christopher Joren (California)
IM-CA-0058-0001 | IM-CA-0058-0002 | IM-CA-0058-0003 | IM-CA-0058-0006 | IM-CA-0058-0009 | IM-CA-0058-9000
Mass, Julia Harumi (California)
IM-CA-0058-0001 | IM-CA-0058-0002 | IM-CA-0058-0003 | IM-CA-0058-0006 | IM-CA-0058-0009 | IM-CA-0058-9000
Schlosser, Alan Lawrence (California)
IM-CA-0058-0001 | IM-CA-0058-0002 | IM-CA-0058-0003 | IM-CA-0058-0006 | IM-CA-0058-0009 | IM-CA-0058-9000
Wang, Cecillia D (California)
IM-CA-0058-0001 | IM-CA-0058-0002 | IM-CA-0058-0003 | IM-CA-0058-0006 | IM-CA-0058-0009 | IM-CA-0058-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Katsas, Gregory G. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0058-0008
Olsen, Edward A (California)
IM-CA-0058-0005 | IM-CA-0058-0008 | IM-CA-0058-9000
Robins, Jeffrey S (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0058-0005 | IM-CA-0058-0008 | IM-CA-0058-0009 | IM-CA-0058-9000
Russoniello, Joseph R. (California)
IM-CA-0058-0008
Stevens, Elizabeth Jones (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0058-0005 | IM-CA-0058-0008 | IM-CA-0058-0009 | IM-CA-0058-9000
Swanson, Joann M. (California)
IM-CA-0058-0005 | IM-CA-0058-0008
Other Lawyers None on record

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