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Case Name Parsley v. Bentley IM-AL-0007
Docket / Court 5:11-cv-02736-SLB ( N.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On August 1, 2011, the religious leaders of the Methodist, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic churches of Alabama filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, under 42 U.S.C. §1983, against the governor and attorney general of Alabama, and the district attorney of ... read more >
On August 1, 2011, the religious leaders of the Methodist, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic churches of Alabama filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, under 42 U.S.C. §1983, against the governor and attorney general of Alabama, and the district attorney of Madison County, Alabama. The plaintiffs, represented by the churches' attorneys, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the recently enacted H.B. 56 violated their constitutional rights. Specifically, plaintiffs claimed that enforcement of the law would prevent the churches and members of their congregations from freely practicing their religious duties to minister to "all of God's children" without regard to immigration status. Several provisions of H.B. 56 criminalize actions such as harboring or transporting an undocumented immigrant. Plaintiffs claim that such actions are regularly undertaken by churches directly or by their congregants, and criminalizing the actions prevents the free exercise of their religious faith.

The Court (Chief Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn) ordered this case and two other related cases consolidated (United States v. Arizona and Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama v. Bentley), but that order was dissolved a month later.

On August 5, 2011, plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction, which the court denied on September 28, 2011. The Court held that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge one provision of the law, and the other challenges to separate provisions were moot because enforcement was already preliminarily enjoined in the related case, United States v. Alabama [IM-AL-0005]. The Court granted the parties' requests to stay proceedings given the appeals pending in the related cases, United States v. Alabama and Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama v. Bentley.

On October 30, 2013, the parties filed a joint motion to dismiss the case as moot assuming the Court enters the proposed order in the related case, United States v. Alabama [IM-AL-0005]. In that case the parties asked the Court to enter a permanent injunction of Sections 13 and 27 of H.B. 56. If the injunction is granted, plaintiffs agree that they will have received relief in this case.

The day before, the parties in the related cases, United States v. Alabama [IM-AL-0005] and Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama v. Bentley [IM-AL-0006], filed joint reports and proposed orders for judgment. Unlike in this case, those parties did not move to dismiss but rather agreed to permanent injunctions of most of the challenged provisions. As noted above, if granted the proposed order in United States v. Alabama will permanently enjoin the sections of the law (13 and 27) that were at issue in this case.

Elizabeth Daligga - 06/22/2012
Jennifer Bronson - 11/03/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Free Exercise Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Detention - procedures
Employer sanctions
Legalization/Amnesty
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Attorney General of Alabama
District Attorney of Madison County
Governor of Alabama
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are leaders of Episcopal, Methodist, and Roman Catholic churches of Alabama.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-AL-0005 : United States v. Alabama (N.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0006 : Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama v. Governor of Alabama (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)
5:11-cv-2736 (N.D. Ala.) 10/30/2013
IM-AL-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Plaintiffs' Amended Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Memorandum in Support 08/10/2011
IM-AL-0007-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint 08/11/2011
IM-AL-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion 09/28/2011 (N.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0007-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Motion to Dismiss As Moot 10/30/2013
IM-AL-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Blackburn, Sharon Lovelace (N.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0007-0003 | IM-AL-0007-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allen, Andrew Clay (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-0004 | IM-AL-0007-9000
Brown, Katherine R. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-0004 | IM-AL-0007-9000
Crocker, R. Champ (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-0001 | IM-AL-0007-0004 | IM-AL-0007-9000
Dowd, August S. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-0001 | IM-AL-0007-0002 | IM-AL-0007-0004 | IM-AL-0007-9000
McElheny, Terry (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-0001 | IM-AL-0007-0002 | IM-AL-0007-0004 | IM-AL-0007-9000
McKenzie, S. Lynn Marie (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-0001 | IM-AL-0007-0004 | IM-AL-0007-9000
Reddit, F. Grey Jr. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-0001 | IM-AL-0007-0002 | IM-AL-0007-0004 | IM-AL-0007-9000
Whitaker, John F. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-0001 | IM-AL-0007-0002 | IM-AL-0007-0004 | IM-AL-0007-9000
White, J. Mark (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-0004 | IM-AL-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davis, James William (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Escalona, Prim Formby (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Fairbanks, Misty S (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Fleming, Margaret L. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Messick, Misty Shawn Fairbanks (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Neiman, John C. Jr. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-0004 | IM-AL-0007-9000
Parker, William G. Jr. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Payne, Joshua Kerry (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Shattuck, R. Cooper (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Sinclair, Winfield J. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Strange, Luther J (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-0004
Other Lawyers Blacksher, James U. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Flores, Gaela K. Gehring (District of Columbia)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Garcia, Bonard I. Molina (District of Columbia)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Gardner, Jesse Cecil (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Gespass, David (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Park, John J. Jr. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Perez-Vargas, Miguel A. (Massachusetts)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Schoen, David I. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Sill, Edward (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Tedrow, Klari B. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Williams, Stephen W. (Alabama)
IM-AL-0007-9000
Zall, Barnaby W (Maryland)
IM-AL-0007-9000

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