University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Pineda Cruz v. Thompson IM-TX-0040
Docket / Court 15-CV-326 ( W.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On April 23, 2014, hunger-strike protesters at a family detention center filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of ... read more >
On April 23, 2014, hunger-strike protesters at a family detention center filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of Homeland Security and the GEO Group, Inc, a subcontractor of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest counsel, claim that the defendants violated their First Amendment Right to freedom of expression by discriminating against them. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that they suffered and continue to suffer injury, including chilling effects, as a result of the defendants' interrogation and isolation the plaintiffs because of their participation in various hunger strikes protesting their detention.

In March 2014, eighty mothers awaiting asylum proceedings with their children protested the inadequate and intolerable living conditions of the detention center by participating in a hunger strike. The mothers continued feeding their children. Many of the participants, along with their children, were subsequently isolated and interrogated by ICE officials and GEO agents. Many were fired from their jobs in the detention center which had previously allowed them to pay for food from the commissary to continue feeding their children. ICE officials did not respond to the signed petition and many of the participants discontinued their protest as a result of these actions described.

The plaintiffs moved for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction on April 29, 2015, but the court denied their motion on May 8, 2015. On June 1, 2015 the District Court (Judge Xavier Rodriguez) scheduled a bench trial for June 6, 2016. Subsequently, the defendants moved for dismissal on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim.

However, on September 9, 2015, the plaintiffs informed the court that they were voluntarily dismissing the case under Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a). This case is now closed.

Tania Morris Diaz - 06/10/2015
Allison Hight - 03/19/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Defendant-type
Corrections
Law-enforcement
Immigration
Detention - conditions
Detention - procedures
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Jeh Johnson
The GEO Group, Inc.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description Mothers detained at Karnes protesting detention conditions.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2015
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)
5:15-cv-326 (W.D. Tex.) 06/10/2015
IM-TX-0040-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 04/23/2015
IM-TX-0040-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Rodriguez, Xavier (W.D. Tex.)
IM-TX-0040-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Boyle, Allison N. (Texas)
IM-TX-0040-0001 | IM-TX-0040-9000
Maldonado, Javier N (Texas)
IM-TX-0040-0001 | IM-TX-0040-9000
Natarajan, Ranjana (Texas)
IM-TX-0040-0001 | IM-TX-0040-9000
Trigilio, Trisha (Texas)
IM-TX-0040-0001 | IM-TX-0040-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Fabian, Sarah B. (District of Columbia)
IM-TX-0040-9000
Vuong, Sarah Lake (District of Columbia)
IM-TX-0040-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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