University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Bautista v. Tennessee Dep't of Safety IM-TN-0005
Docket / Court 3:08-cv-01125 ( M.D. Tenn. )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On November 24, 2008, several Lawful Permanent Residents ("LPRs") who reside in Tennessee filed a class action lawsuit in the Middle District of Tennessee against the Tennessee Department of Safety, under the right to freedom of association under the First Amendment, the right to be free from ... read more >
On November 24, 2008, several Lawful Permanent Residents ("LPRs") who reside in Tennessee filed a class action lawsuit in the Middle District of Tennessee against the Tennessee Department of Safety, under the right to freedom of association under the First Amendment, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment, the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the right to freedom of travel under Article IV, Section II of the U.S. Constitution, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought a declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys' fees, alleging that the defendant unlawfully withheld and confiscated the plaintiffs' green cards while the plaintiffs applied for a driver license or driver license renewal.

The plaintiffs pointed to two statutes passed in 2007 that demonstrated Tennessee's history of discriminatory treatment of foreign-born residents of Tennessee who are legally present in the U.S. The issue at hand here was with regards to Tennessee Department of Safety employees withholding or confiscating the green cards of LPRs without following the multi-step process already set in place by the agency. The plaintiffs alleged that there was no reason for their green cards to be confiscated. Since plaintiffs did not have their green cards, they were unable to obtain a driver license, unable to travel around or outside of the U.S., were at risk of violating a federal law requiring them to always have their green cards in their possession, and suffered other forms of emotional distress.

On March 26, 2009, the District Court (Magistrate Judge John S. Bryant) granted the plaintiffs' notice of voluntary dismissal.

Perry Miska - 03/31/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Right to travel
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Drivers Licenses
Government Services (specify)
Racial profiling
Immigration
Status/Classification
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
Defendant(s) Tennessee Department of Safety
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are Lawful Permanent Residents who had their "green cards" confiscated by the Tennessee Department of Safety for an extended period of time when they tried applying for a driver license or a driver license renewal.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2009
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)
3:08-cv-01125 (M.D. Tenn.) 03/26/2009
IM-TN-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 11/24/2008 (2008 WL 7318016)
IM-TN-0005-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 03/26/2009 (M.D. Tenn.)
IM-TN-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Bryant, John S. (M.D. Tenn.) [Magistrate]
IM-TN-0005-0002
Nixon, John Trice (M.D. Tenn.)
IM-TN-0005-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ozment, Harry Elliot (Tennessee)
IM-TN-0005-0001 | IM-TN-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dawn, Marie Jordan (Tennessee)
IM-TN-0005-9000
Jordan, Dawn Marie (Tennessee)
IM-TN-0005-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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