University of Michigan Law School
The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse - Schoolhouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Torres-Barragan v. Holder IM-CA-0065
Docket / Court 2:09-cv-08564 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization Lambda Legal
Case Summary
The plaintiffs in this immigration suit are a binational male couple, legally married in California since October 2008. A month after their marriage, the American member of the couple filed an I-130, seeking permission for his husband, to immigrate to the U.S. It was denied by U.S. Citizenship ... read more >
The plaintiffs in this immigration suit are a binational male couple, legally married in California since October 2008. A month after their marriage, the American member of the couple filed an I-130, seeking permission for his husband, to immigrate to the U.S. It was denied by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and on appeal, by the Board of Immigration Appeals, both on the grounds that the federal Defense of Marriage Act precluded USCIS's recognition of the California marriage.

It is unclear from the public documents available, but there seem to have been removal proceedings pending at the same time. In any event, several strands of litigation ensued. The Mexican member of the couple filed several appeals from BIA actions in the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the first on August 28, 2008. These were consolidated as No. 08-73745. A stay of removal (that is, deportation) was in force. Next, plaintiffs filed this suit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on November 20, 2009, alleging that denial of the petition violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"), and their Equal Protection Rights. The Court of Appeals consideration of the pending BIA appeal was stayed while the District Court considered this case. On April 30, 2010, the Court rejected the lawsuit, holding that it was foreclosed by prior 9th Circuit precedent (Adams v. Howerton, 673 F.2d 1036 (9th Cir. 1982)). The plaintiffs appealed.

While the appeal was pending, on February 23, 2011, the Obama Administration formally took the position in a letter to Congress that DOMA is unconstitutional. The Attorney General explained that the Department of Justice would continue to enforce the law, but would not defend it in federal court.

The other BIA appeals involving this same couple were still pending in the 9th Circuit. (These were 9th Circuit Nos. 08-73745 and 09-71226). On August 9, 2011, Court of Appeals granted the unopposed motion filed by petitioner in those cases (Torres-Barragan) to remand the two immigration petitions for further review by the Board of Immigration Appeals. On the same day, the Court stayed the appeal in this suit (9th Cir. No. 10-55768). On April 10, 2012, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the appeal. This case appears to be concluded.

Nadji Allan - 10/23/2014


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Marriage
Immigration
Family
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. ยงยง 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S.
Plaintiff Description The plaintiffs are a same-sex couple, lawfully married in California; one is American, one is Mexican. The American petitioned for his husband to immigrate.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Lambda Legal
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Case Studies Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:09-cv-8564 (C.D. Cal.) 06/13/2012
IM-CA-0065-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order re: Defendant's Motion to Dismiss 04/30/2010 (2010 WL 9485872) (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0065-0001 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Goldman, Marc L (E.D. Mich., N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
IM-CA-0065-9000
Klausner, Robert G. (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0065-0001 | IM-CA-0065-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Manulkin, Gary H. (California)
IM-CA-0065-9000
Tanner, Reyna Manulkin (California)
IM-CA-0065-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Carlson, Jesi J. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0065-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -