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Case Name L-R v. Johnson IM-DC-0022
Docket / Court 1:15-cv-00011 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Case Summary
On January 6, 2015, three Central American immigrant mothers and their children filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia under the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA") against the United States Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") and United ... read more >
On January 6, 2015, three Central American immigrant mothers and their children filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia under the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA") against the United States Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") and United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"). The plaintiffs, represented by private and public interest counsel, seek certification of a class of all persons who have been or will be detained in ICE facilities; who have been or will be determined to have a credible fear of persecution in their home countries; and who are eligible for release, but have been denied such release pursuant to ICE's blanket "No-Release Policy." In addition to class certification, the plaintiffs asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the No-Release Policy violates the APA, the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"), and the Fifth Amendment. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the No-Release Policy violates the INA and Plaintiff's due process rights under the Fifth Amendment by denying plaintiffs individualized custody determinations, instead basing such determinations on a policy of deterring future immigration. The plaintiffs also claimed the policy is arbitrary and capricious. Plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction the same day they filed their complaint.

On February 20, 2015, the District Court (Judge James E. Boasberg) issued a memorandum opinion granting plaintiffs' motions for a preliminary injunction and provisional class certification, and denying defendants' motion to dismiss. The Court found that, although an across-the-board ICE policy aimed at denying all release to asylum-seeking Central American families did not exist, there was "ample support in the record" to find that DHS requires ICE officers "to consider deterrence of mass migration as a factor in custody determinations, and that this policy has played a significant role in the recent increased detention of Central American mothers and children." The Court also found that this policy "contributed to the near universal detention of Central American families since June 2014." The Court held that plaintiffs had standing to challenge this policy, as they satisfied the requirements for class certification under the relation back doctrine. In ruling on the merits of a preliminary injunction, the Court held that Plaintiffs had "significant likelihood of succeeding on the merits of their claim," and stated that DHS's approach to detention did not comport with "traditional purposes" and was "poorly substantiated." The Court also held that: plaintiffs were likely to face irreparable harm without injunctive relief; the public interest would be served by an injunction; and the government could not be harmed from an injunction that ends an unlawful practice. R.I.L-R v. Johnson, --- F. Supp. 3d ----, No. 15-cv-11, 2015 WL 737117 (D.D.C. Feb. 20, 2015).

As of March 2, 2015, the case is still ongoing.

Dan Whitman - 03/02/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Classification / placement
Confinement/isolation
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Immigration
Asylum - procedure
Constitutional rights
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Family
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
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
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description All persons who have been or will be detained in ICE family detention facilities; have been or will be determined to have a credible fear of persecution in their home country; and are eligible for release on bond, recognizance, or other conditions, but have been or will be denied such release pursuant to DHS’s blanket policy of denying release to detained families without conducting an individualized determination of flight risk or danger to the community.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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)
1:15-cv-00011-JEB (D.D.C.) 02/27/2015
IM-DC-0022-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 12/16/2014
IM-DC-0022-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Class Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 01/08/2015
IM-DC-0022-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction; granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Provisional Class Certification; and denying Defendants' Motion to Dismiss 02/20/2015 (2015 WL 737117) (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0022-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Boasberg, James Emanuel (D.D.C., FISC)
IM-DC-0022-0002 | IM-DC-0022-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Auerbach, Dennis B. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0022-0001 | IM-DC-0022-0003 | IM-DC-0022-9000
Balakrishnan, Anand V. (New York)
IM-DC-0022-0001 | IM-DC-0022-0003
Gilman, Denise (Texas)
IM-DC-0022-0001 | IM-DC-0022-0003
Kang, Stephen B. (California)
IM-DC-0022-0001 | IM-DC-0022-0003
Lahr-Pastor, Sonia (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0022-0001
Levitz, Phillip J. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0022-0003 | IM-DC-0022-9000
Nash, Lindsay (New York)
IM-DC-0022-0001 | IM-DC-0022-0003
Pinon, Adriana (Texas)
IM-DC-0022-0001 | IM-DC-0022-0003
Rabinovitz, Judy (New York)
IM-DC-0022-0001 | IM-DC-0022-0003 | IM-DC-0022-9000
Robertson, Rebecca Lynn (Texas)
IM-DC-0022-0001 | IM-DC-0022-0003
Spitzer, Arthur (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0022-0001 | IM-DC-0022-0003 | IM-DC-0022-9000
Tack-Hooper, Molly M. (Pennsylvania)
IM-DC-0022-0001 | IM-DC-0022-0003
Tan, Michael (New York)
IM-DC-0022-0001 | IM-DC-0022-0003
Walczak, Witold J. (Pennsylvania)
IM-DC-0022-0001 | IM-DC-0022-0003
Zionts, David M. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0022-0001 | IM-DC-0022-0003 | IM-DC-0022-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Fabian, Sarah B. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0022-9000
Fresco, Leon (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0022-9000
Kelly, Wynne Patrick (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0022-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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