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Case Name United States v. Alabama IM-AL-0005
Docket / Court 2:11-cv-2746 ( N.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On August 1, 2011, the United States filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama under the Immigration and Nationality Act against the State of Alabama for declaratory and injunctive relief. The U.S. sought to prevent the implementation of the recently enacted ... read more >
On August 1, 2011, the United States filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama under the Immigration and Nationality Act against the State of Alabama for declaratory and injunctive relief. The U.S. sought to prevent the implementation of the recently enacted state legislation H.B. 56, arguing it was preempted by federal law and therefore in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

H.B. 56 was designed to address numerous aspects of immigration regulation and enforcement. H.B 56's provisions require, whenever practicable, the determination of immigration status during any lawful stop by the police where there is "reasonable suspicion" that an individual is unlawfully present. The United States claimed that the emphasis on maximum enforcement of immigration status laws ignores other objectives that Congress has established for the federal immigration system and undermines the federal government's balance of immigration objectives and priorities.

On August 2, 2011, the district court (Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn) consolidated this case with two related cases, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama v. Governor of Alabama (IM-AL-0006) and Parsley v. Bentley (IM-AL-0007), for consideration of Motions for Preliminary Injunctions made by plaintiffs in each of the cases. A month later, however, the court dissolved the consolidation order and ordered all pleadings to be filed in the separate cases, as appropriate.

The court granted amicus curiae status to many organizations, including many South and Central American countries, the NAACP, several fair housing organizations, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, and the National Lawyers Guild.

A day before the Preliminary Injunction hearing in August 2011, Alabama filed a Motion to Dismiss. After the hearing, on August 29, 2011, the court ordered enforcement of H.B. 56 temporarily enjoined. A month later the court issued a memorandum opinion granting a Preliminary Injunction for certain provisions of H.B. 56, but denying it for other provisions. Both plaintiffs and defendants then filed cross-appeals with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on March 1, 2012. Following the hearing, the court issued an order expanding the district court's injunction pending complete resolution of the appeals. On November 20, 2012, the Court of Appeals (Judge Charles R. Wilson) held that most of the challenged provisions could not stand. United States v. Alabama, 691 F.3d 1269 (11th Cir. 2012). The court found that Section 28, which requires the immigration verification of newly enrolled students, violates the Equal Protection Clause. In addition, the court affirmed the district court's decision that section 11(a), 13(a), 16, and 17 are likely preempted. The court reversed the district court's holding as to section 10 and 27 and remanded for the entry of a preliminary injunction. The Supreme Court denied certiorari. Alabama v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2022 (2013).

On remand, the parties reached agreement on a proposed final order to end the case. They filed this with the district court on October 29, 2013. If approved, the order will permanently enjoin defendants from implementing the majority of the challenged provisions. The state will not enforce provisions criminalize the solicitation of work by unauthorized or failing to register one's immigration status. Plaintiffs will agree to dismiss their remaining claims without prejudice.

On the same day, the parties in the related case, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama v. Governor of Alabama (IM-AL-0006), submitted a similar agreement and proposed order. There the parties also agreed to the permanent injunction of sections 10, 11(a), 13 and 27 as well as additional provisions 11(f) and (g). The settlement in this case would also enjoin enforcement of sections 16 and 17. In Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, the parties agreed to the permanent injunction of Section 28. The plaintiffs in this case have agreed to dismiss their claim against Section 28, assuming the court enters the permanent inunction against the provision sought in Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama v. Governor of Alabama (IM-AL-0006). In Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, the plaintiffs also agreed to dismiss the rest of their claims, but specified that a number of those agreements to dismiss (sections 12, 18, 19, and 20) depended upon the defendants' representation that they would interpret the provisions to be consistent with U.S. v. Arizona and "neither require nor authorize state or local law-enforcement officers to stop, detain, arrest, or prolong the detention of any person for the purpose of ascertaining that person's immigration status or because of a belief that the person lacks lawful immigration status."

Elizabeth Daligga - 06/19/2012
Jennifer Bronson - 11/02/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Federalism
Discrimination-basis
Language discrimination
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Status/Classification
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. ยงยง 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) State of Alabama
Plaintiff Description Plaintiff is the United States.
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
Settlement
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-AL-0006 : Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama v. Governor of Alabama (N.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0007 : Parsley v. Bentley (N.D. Ala.)
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)
2:11−cv−02746 (N.D. Ala.) 10/29/2013
IM-AL-0005-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 08/01/2011
IM-AL-0005-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction 08/01/2011
IM-AL-0005-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Alabama and Governor Bentley's Response to United States' Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 2) 08/15/2011
IM-AL-0005-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff United States of America's Reply in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction 08/23/2011
IM-AL-0005-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion 09/28/2011 (813 F.Supp.2d 1282) (N.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0005-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order By the Court 10/14/2011 (443 Fed.Appx. 411)
IM-AL-0005-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 08/20/2012 (691 F.3d 1269)
IM-AL-0005-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Court of Appeals website
Judgment 11/13/2012
IM-AL-0005-0009 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Report Regarding Status and Disposition 10/29/2013
IM-AL-0005-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Barkett, Rosemary (Eleventh Circuit)
IM-AL-0005-0006
Blackburn, Sharon Lovelace (N.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0005-0005 | IM-AL-0005-9000
Carnes, Edward Earl (Eleventh Circuit)
IM-AL-0005-0006
Hull, Frank M. (N.D. Ga., Eleventh Circuit)
IM-AL-0005-0006
Wilson, Charles R. (Eleventh Circuit, M.D. Fla.) [Magistrate]
IM-AL-0005-0007
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chilakamarri, Varu (District of Columbia)
IM-AL-0005-0001 | IM-AL-0005-0002 | IM-AL-0005-0004 | IM-AL-0005-9000
Goldberg, Arthur Robert (District of Columbia)
IM-AL-0005-0008
Krishna, Praveen (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-9000
Orrick, William Horsley III (California)
IM-AL-0005-9000
Reeves, C Lee II (District of Columbia)
IM-AL-0005-0001 | IM-AL-0005-0002 | IM-AL-0005-0004 | IM-AL-0005-9000
Simpson, W. Scott (District of Columbia)
IM-AL-0005-0008 | IM-AL-0005-9000
Vance, Joyce White (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-0008 | IM-AL-0005-9000
West, Tony (District of Columbia)
IM-AL-0005-9000
Wilkenfeld, Joshua (District of Columbia)
IM-AL-0005-0001 | IM-AL-0005-0002 | IM-AL-0005-0004 | IM-AL-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davis, James William (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-0003 | IM-AL-0005-9000
Escalona, Prim Formby (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-0003 | IM-AL-0005-9000
Fairbanks, Misty S (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-0003 | IM-AL-0005-9000
Fleming, Margaret L. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-0003 | IM-AL-0005-9000
Neiman, John C. Jr. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-0003 | IM-AL-0005-0008 | IM-AL-0005-9000
Parker, William G. Jr. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-0003 | IM-AL-0005-9000
Payne, Joshua Kerry (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-9000
Shattuck, R. Cooper (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-9000
Sinclair, Winfield J. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-0003 | IM-AL-0005-9000
Strange, Luther J (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-0008
Other Lawyers Blacksher, James U. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-9000
Gespass, David (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-9000
Park, John J. Jr. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-9000
Perez-Vargas, Miguel A. (Massachusetts)
IM-AL-0005-9000
Schoen, David I. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-9000
Sill, Edward (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-9000
Williams, Stephen W. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0005-9000
Zall, Barnaby W (Maryland)
IM-AL-0005-9000

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