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Case Name Utah Coalition of La Raza v. Herbert IM-UT-0002
Docket / Court 2:11-cv-00401 ( D. Utah )
State/Territory Utah
Case Type(s) Immigration
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Case Summary
On May 3, 2011, a coalition of immigrant rights groups and individual immigrants filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Utah in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, challenging the state's immigration enforcement law, House Bill 497 (HB 497). The plaintiffs, ... read more >
On May 3, 2011, a coalition of immigrant rights groups and individual immigrants filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Utah in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, challenging the state's immigration enforcement law, House Bill 497 (HB 497). The plaintiffs, represented by the state and national ACLU, the National Immigration Law Center, and private counsel, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983; the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201; and state law, claiming that the law was unconstitutional. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that HB 497, in requiring state and local law enforcement to check the identification of all people they stop, arrest or detain and ascertain whether they are in the country lawfully; allowing them to make warrantless arrests on "reasonable suspicion" that a person is an alien who is (1) subject to a removal order by an immigration court, (2) subject to an immigration detainer request, or (3) charged or convicted in another state with one or more "aggravated felonies;" and criminalizing the act of encouraging or inducing illegal immigrants to come to, enter or reside in Utah, is preempted under the Supremacy Clause and in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiffs sought a declaration of the law's unconstitutionality and an injunction barring enforcement of the law before it came into effect on May 10, 2011.

(In passing HB 497, Utah became the first state to follow the lead of Arizona in enacting aggressive immigration-related laws at the state level; Indiana, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina were soon to follow. For the case challenging the Arizona's SB 1070, see United States v. Arizona [IM-AZ-0015]; for the case challenging Indiana's SEA 590, see Buquer v. City of Indianapolis [IM-IN-0002]; for the case challenging Georgia's HB 87, see Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights v. Deal [IM-GA-0007]; for cases challenging Alabama's HB 56, see United States v. Alabama [IM-AL-0005], Hispanic Interest Coalition v. Bentley [IM-AL-0006], and Parsley v. Bentley [IM-AL-0007]; and for cases challenging South Carolina's Act 69, see Lowcountry Immigration Coalition v. Haley [IM-SC-0001] and United States v. South Carolina [IM-SC-0002].)

On May 6, 2011, plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. After a hearing on May 10, the District Court (Judge Clark Waddoups) issued a temporary restraining order on May 11, barring enforcement of HB 497 pending further order of the court and giving parties time to brief the court regarding the merits of plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. Utah Coalition of La Raza v. Herbert, No. 2:11-cv-00401, 2011 WL 7143098 (D. Utah May 11, 2011).

Over the course of the summer, various amicus curiae briefs were filed in support of plaintiffs, including those by the governments of Mexico and various Central and South American countries.

On August 1, 2011, plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification.

On November 22, 2011, the federal government filed a separate lawsuit challenging the Utah law solely on preemption grounds. See United States v. Utah, No. (D. Utah). It was consolidated with this case on November 28, and on December 15, the Department of Justice filed its own motion for a preliminary injunction.

Rather than deciding on any of the motions before it, on February 21, 2012, the District Court (Judge Waddoups) declared that it would refrain from making any rulings until the Supreme Court issued its decision in United States v. Arizona [IM-AZ-0015], but confirmed that the restraining order would continue until it ruled on the pending motions for preliminary injunctions.

As of the date of this summary, the District Court is still waiting for the Supreme Court's decision.

Christopher Schad - 06/20/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Federalism
Right to travel
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Search policies
Immigration
Border police
Constitutional rights
Criminal prosecution
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) The State of Utah
Plaintiff Description a coalition of immigrant rights groups and individual immigrants, and, after consolidation, the United States
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
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 2011 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-UT-0003 : United States v. Utah (D. Utah)
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-00401-CW (D. Utah) 01/31/2013
IM-UT-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief - Class Action 05/03/2011
IM-UT-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction 05/06/2011
IM-UT-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order] 05/11/2011 (2011 WL 7143098) (D. Utah)
IM-UT-0002-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Reserving Ruling Pending the Supreme Court's Decision in United States v. Arizona] 02/21/2012 (D. Utah)
IM-UT-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Waddoups, Clark (D. Utah)
IM-UT-0002-0003 | IM-UT-0002-0004 | IM-UT-0002-9000
Wells, Brooke C. (D. Utah) [Magistrate]
IM-UT-0002-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cheer, Shiu-Ming (California)
IM-UT-0002-0001 | IM-UT-0002-0002 | IM-UT-0002-9000
Chilakamarri, Varu (District of Columbia)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Cohn, Joseph S. (New Jersey)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Desormeau, Katherine (California)
IM-UT-0002-0001 | IM-UT-0002-0002 | IM-UT-0002-9000
Farrell, Leah M. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Goddard, Darcy M. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-0001 | IM-UT-0002-0002 | IM-UT-0002-9000
Goldberg, Arthur Robert (District of Columbia)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Granados, Esperanza (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-0001 | IM-UT-0002-0002 | IM-UT-0002-9000
Jadwat, Omar C. (New York)
IM-UT-0002-0001 | IM-UT-0002-0002 | IM-UT-0002-9000
Joaquin, Linton (California)
IM-UT-0002-0001 | IM-UT-0002-0002 | IM-UT-0002-9000
Keaney, Melissa S. (California)
IM-UT-0002-0001 | IM-UT-0002-0002 | IM-UT-0002-9000
Mukherjee, Elora (New York)
IM-UT-0002-0001 | IM-UT-0002-0002 | IM-UT-0002-9000
Newell, Jennifer Chang (California)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Phillips, Bradley S. (California)
IM-UT-0002-0001 | IM-UT-0002-0002 | IM-UT-0002-9000
Price, Daniel D. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Segura, Andre Ivan (New York)
IM-UT-0002-0001 | IM-UT-0002-0002 | IM-UT-0002-9000
Sugarman, Kenneth John (California)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Tumlin, Karen C. (California)
IM-UT-0002-0001 | IM-UT-0002-0002 | IM-UT-0002-9000
Wang, Cecillia D (California)
IM-UT-0002-0001 | IM-UT-0002-0002 | IM-UT-0002-9000
Wilkenfeld, Joshua (District of Columbia)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Evans, Timothy D. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Gray, Jeffrey S. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Jensen, Jerrold S. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Lawrence, Barry G. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Lott, Philip S. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Roberts, Thomas D. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Other Lawyers Barnard, Brian M. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Clark, Christopher R. (New York)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Deutchman, Michelle N. (California)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Freeman, Steven M. (New York)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Gorniak, Carla (New York)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Hale, Andrew R. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Hethmon, Michael M. (District of Columbia)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Jenkins, Lon A. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Marsden, Milo Steven (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Mazar, Yael Lerman (California)
IM-UT-0002-9000
McDonald, Kathleen E. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Mylar, Frank D. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Newsom, Elizabeth W. (District of Columbia)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Roe, Garrett R. (District of Columbia)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Santon, Katherine J. (California)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Schoenfeld, Alan E. (New York)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Shaholli, Sarah Kathleen (California)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Skolnick, Michael F. (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Solano, Henry L. (New York)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Tarin, Aaron (Utah)
IM-UT-0002-9000
Walther, Laura J. (District of Columbia)
IM-UT-0002-9000

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