University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Kolhatkar v. Arellano IM-CA-0071
Docket / Court 8:07-cv-01394 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU of Southern California
Case Summary
On December 4, 2007, lawful permanent residents whose naturalization applications were not timely processed filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the United States ... read more >
On December 4, 2007, lawful permanent residents whose naturalization applications were not timely processed filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS"). Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that the new regulatory requirement that the FBI name check every application had caused lengthy delays in adjudication of naturalization applications.

Plaintiffs were represented by attorneys from the National Immigration Law Center and the ACLU of Southern California as well as attorneys from the firm Munger Tolles & Olson. Plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief as well as class certification.

Plaintiffs claimed that defendants' failure to complete the adjudication of their applications violated the timeliness requirements of the APA. Plaintiffs who had completed their naturalization interviews alleged that defendants had violated 8 U.S.C. § 1447(b) by failing to adjudicate the applications within 120 days of the date of the examinations. Plaintiffs also raised due process claims, alleging that defendants had violated their rights with a pattern, practice and policy of failing to timely complete FBI name checks and failing to make a final judgment on the application. Finally, plaintiffs claimed that defendants violated the notice-and-comment requirements of the APA because defendants' 2002 expansion of the FBI name check constituted a "rule" within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. § 551(4), but they did not provide a notice-and-comment period prior to implementing the rule.

On November 6, 2009, the court (Judge David O. Carter) approved the parties' settlement agreement. The settlement applied to certain naturalization applicants who applied within USCIS District 23 (including Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and San Bernadino Field Offices), who have had an interview, and whose application remains pending for more than 180 days due to the noncompletion of the FBI name check. The settlement required the government to adjudicate seventy percent of the applications within ninety days and ninety percent of the applications within 180 days. The agreement also provided for three sets of limited reports by USCIS to plaintiffs' counsel regarding the status of the naturalization applications.

On October 5, 2010, the court dismissed the case with prejudice in accordance with the settlement agreement where the parties had completed all obligations imposed by the agreement.

Jennifer Bronson - 10/28/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Reporting
Immigration
U.S. citizenship - acquiring
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Homeland Security
Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigations
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Plaintiff Description Lawful permanent residents whose naturalization applications were not timely processed
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU of Southern California
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
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 2010
Case Ongoing No
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)
8:07−cv−01394 (C.D. Cal.) 10/05/2010
IM-CA-0071-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Third Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief-Class Action 01/30/2009
IM-CA-0071-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Stipulation for Approval of Settlement Agreement 10/16/2009
IM-CA-0071-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Block, Robert N. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
IM-CA-0071-9000
Carter, David O. (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0071-0002 | IM-CA-0071-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Helm, Mark Bartrum (California)
IM-CA-0071-0001 | IM-CA-0071-9000
Joaquin, Linton (California)
IM-CA-0071-0001 | IM-CA-0071-0002 | IM-CA-0071-9000
Kreilkamp, Jacob S. (California)
IM-CA-0071-0001 | IM-CA-0071-9000
Manuchehry, Ali (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0071-9000 | IM-CA-0071-9000
Nataranjan, Ranjana (California)
IM-CA-0071-9000
Park, Yungsuhn (California)
IM-CA-0071-0001 | IM-CA-0071-9000
Preciado, Nora (California)
IM-CA-0071-9000
Rosenbaum, Mark Dale (California)
IM-CA-0071-0001 | IM-CA-0071-9000
Su, Julie A (California)
IM-CA-0071-0001 | IM-CA-0071-9000
Tumlin, Karen C. (California)
IM-CA-0071-0001 | IM-CA-0071-9000
Yoshida, Mark Koji (California)
IM-CA-0071-0001 | IM-CA-0071-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Go, Samuel P. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0071-9000
Kline, David J. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0071-0002
Stevens, Elizabeth Jones (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0071-0002 | IM-CA-0071-9000
West, Tony (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0071-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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