University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Pantoja−Castillo v. Chertoff IM-TX-0031
Docket / Court 7:07-cv-00204 ( S.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On August 2, 2007, a lawful permanent resident filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS )challenging their failure to provide documentation of ... read more >
On August 2, 2007, a lawful permanent resident filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS )challenging their failure to provide documentation of residency. The plaintiff alleged that defendants imposed unlawful demands on her attempt to renew her green card. She claimed this practice deprived her of her liberty and violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 USC 1304(d) and 8 USC 1229a(c)(3)) and related regulations. The complaint sought habeas, mandamus, injunctive, and declaratory relief.

In the first amended complaint, another plaintiff was added and the plaintiffs sought class certification. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, were long-term lawful permanent residents (LPRs) with expired or missing registration cards (I-551s). They sought to renew or replace their I-551s by filing I-90s and complying with USCIS's application requirements. They alleged that USCIS had converted the process by which new green cards are issued into an enforcement procedure. Rather than provide plaintiffs with evidence of their LPR status, defendants interrogated the plaintiffs about past criminal conduct and/or old deportation proceedings and ordered plaintiffs to produce documents.

On August 29, 2008, the parties came to a settlement agreement, and the court (Judge Randy Crane) dismissed the case on September 4, 2008. In the settlement, defendants agreed to pay $7,500 in attorneys fees. The parties agreed that with respect to the three named plaintiffs and interveners that defendants had satisfied all issues in the Second Amended Complaint and were making a good faith effort to resolve such issues with respect to member of the putative class. Plaintiffs agreed to dismiss their complaint and withdraw their motion for class certification.

Jennifer Bronson - 11/10/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Habeas Corpus
Immigration
Visas - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Plaintiff Description Lawful permanent residents seeking to renew/replace their green cards.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2008 - 2010
Case Closing Year 2011
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)
7:07-cv-00204 (S.D. Tex.) 01/05/2011
IM-TX-0031-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Writ of Mandamus, and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 08/02/2007
IM-TX-0031-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, and Writ of Mandamus, and Class Action Complaint For Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 01/21/2008
IM-TX-0031-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement 08/29/2008
IM-TX-0031-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Joint Motion to Dismiss with to Dismiss with Prejudice 01/05/2011 (S.D. Tex.)
IM-TX-0031-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Crane, Randy (S.D. Tex.)
IM-TX-0031-0004 | IM-TX-0031-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brodyaga, Lisa S. (Texas)
IM-TX-0031-0001 | IM-TX-0031-0003 | IM-TX-0031-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Benavides, Reno Carlo (Texas)
IM-TX-0031-9000
Rizer, Arthur J. (District of Columbia)
IM-TX-0031-0001 | IM-TX-0031-9000
Suarez, Flor M. (District of Columbia)
IM-TX-0031-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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