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Case Name AILA v. Department of Homeland Security IM-DC-0020
Docket / Court 10-01224 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) filed suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on July 20, 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. AILA claimed that DHS had violated the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. §552) and the Administrative ... read more >
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) filed suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on July 20, 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. AILA claimed that DHS had violated the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. §552) and the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. §701-06) by failing to properly respond to a FOIA request. On February 6, 2009, AILA had submitted a FOIA request to DHS seeking the disclosure of the guidance it gives to agencies when investigating fraud in H-1B visa applications. DHS denied the request, citing various administrative exemptions. After an AILA administrative appeal and second request on April 12, 2009, DHS released a limited number of redacted documents along with "Vaughn submissions," providing a description of the exempted information. After an unsuccessful appeal, AILA brought suit, seeking an order for DHS to conduct a reasonable search for relevant documents, an order to refrain from withholding information relevant to the FOIA request, and a declaration that the information is not exempted from FOIA.

On December 10, 2010, DHS moved for summary judgment, arguing that all segregable information had been released, along with adequate Vaughn submissions. On January 14, 2011, AILA filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, arguing that the Vaughn submissions were inadequate, and seeking full disclosure of documents. However, on February 24, 2011, DHS withdrew its motion for summary judgment, offering to conduct a further search for segregable documents.

On May 31, 2011, AILA moved again for summary judgment, arguing that DHS still had failed to adequately respond to their FOIA request. On June 27, 2011, DHS filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, again arguing that they had submitted all segregable information, along with proper Vaughn submissions.

On March 30, 2012, the District Court (Judge Emmit G. Sullivan) granted AILA's motion for summary judgment in part, and denied DHS's cross-motion for summary judgment. Judge Sullivan ordered DHS to provide Vaugh submissions that sufficiently describe the information to AILA, so that AILA can make a proper segregability determination.

This was the last action in the case.

Dan Osher - 05/28/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Records Disclosure
Immigration
Visas - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description Plaintiff AILA is a national association of over 11,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
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 not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
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)
1:10-cv-1224 (D.D.C.) 01/16/2013
IM-DC-0020-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 07/20/2010
IM-DC-0020-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Motion to Withdraw Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and to Stay Further Summary-Judgment Briefing 02/24/2011
IM-DC-0020-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment in part and Denying Defendants' Cross Motion for Summary Judgment] 03/30/2012 (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0020-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [Granting in Part Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and Denying Defendants' Cross Motion for Summary Judgment] 03/30/2012 (852 F.Supp.2d 66) (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0020-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Sullivan, Emmet G. (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0020-0003 | IM-DC-0020-0004 | IM-DC-0020-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Creighton, Emily J. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0020-0001
Kenney, Mary (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0020-0001
Morad, Houda (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0020-9000
Schill, Charles F (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0020-0001
Watkins, Seth A (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0020-0001 | IM-DC-0020-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Banks, Eric N. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0020-0002
Borum, Marian L. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0020-9000
Contreras, Rudolph (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0020-0002
Machen, Ronald C (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0020-0002
Rybicki, David Cotter (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0020-0002 | IM-DC-0020-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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