On March 6, 2008 attorneys with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund and Education Fund and New York Legal Assistance Group filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, USCIS, Attorney General of the U.S. and the FBI. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Foley Square Division), challenging the U.S. government’s failure to timely adjudicate applications for naturalization made in New York City District Office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 555(b), 551(13), 706(1) and 553, and the Immigration and Nationality Act § 336(b), codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1447(b).
Plaintiffs sought certification of a class consisting of: lawful permanent residents residing in the counties served by the New York City District Office of USCIS, who have submitted or will submit applications to be naturalized as U.S. citizens, and whose applications have not been or will not be adjudicated within 180 days of the date of submission, and on behalf of a sub-class composed of those members of the class who reside in the Southern District of New York and whose applications have not been or will not be adjudicated within 120 days of the date of their initial examinations.
On June 19, 2008, Defendants filed its motion to dismiss. On August 7, 2008, the District Court (Judge Lawrence M. McKenna) denied Plaintiffs' motions for a preliminary injunction and for class certification, and granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss. On August 19, 2008, Plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration, which the District Court denied on September 10, 2008.
Plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. On January 29, 2008, in a summary order, the Second Circuit vacated the judgments entered by the District Court on August 7 and September 10 of 2008, and remanded the case to the District Court for further proceedings consistent with the order.
The parties entered settlement negotiations after the case went back to the District Court. On September 20, 2010, the District Court (Judge Lawrence M. McKenna) entered a Stipulation and Order of Dismissal which specified that it would place the matter in abeyance until July 29, 2011, and if Plaintiffs have not sought reinstatement by July 29, 2011, pursuant to the Settlement Agreement dated September 17, 2010, the action would be dismissed with prejudice. The action was dismissed with prejudice as of July 29, 2011.
(Updated on 03/31/2012)Xin Chen - 03/30/2012