University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Arpaio v. Obama IM-DC-0023
Docket / Court 1:14-cv-01966-BAH ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On November 20, 2014, Joe Arpaio, the Sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, filed this lawsuit in the D.C. District Court under the Declaratory Judgment Act and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), against President Obama, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Director ... read more >
On November 20, 2014, Joe Arpaio, the Sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, filed this lawsuit in the D.C. District Court under the Declaratory Judgment Act and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), against President Obama, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the U.S. Attorney General. Sheriff Arpaio, represented by private counsel, claimed that two federal programs constituted unconstitutional abuses of the President's power. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program started June 15, 2012, and several additional programs--referred to by the plaintiff as Executive Order Amnesty (EOA) programs--started November 20, 2014. DACA [does what?]. EOA extends DACA to defer action for childhood arrivals who arrived after the earliest cut-off date and for parents and other relatives of U.S. citizens or persons lawfully present. [THIS ISN'T CLEAR]

Specifically, Sheriff Arpaio claimed that the challenged programs constituted a dramatic departure from prior interpretation and application of existing law and regulations and that the President cannot effect these changes by Executive Order. Plaintiff also argued that even if the Court deemed these dramatic changes constitutional, the challenged programs should have gone through notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures under the APA. Alternatively, Plaintiff challenged these actions pursuant to the APA as unlawful and invalid as arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, unreasonable, and/or otherwise not in accordance with law.

On December 4, 2014, Plaintiff sought a Preliminary Injunction, which the U.S. opposed, filing a brief that the court construed as a motion to dismiss. On December 23, 2014, the District Judge Beryl A. Howell denied the preliminary injunction and dismissed the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Judge Howell found that the plaintiff did not suffer a legally cognizable injury, and thus held that the Plaintiff lacked standing. Sheriff Arpaio, the Court explained, did not suffer injury in fact in his personal capacity because he sought to vindicate only a general interest in proper application of Constitution and laws. Although he alleged that undocumented immigrants had targeted him for assassination as a result of his stance on illegal immigration, neither of the challenged programs threatened the sheriff's life; in fact, his stance on illegal immigration existed prior to this case and the challenged programs. In addition, Sheriff Arpaio did not suffer injury in fact in his official capacity because he was asserting generalized grievances against federal policy and alleged injuries were largely speculative. The plaintiff also failed to show causation because neither challenged program authorized the conduct of which he complained. Arpaio v. Obama, 27 F.Supp.3d 185 (D.D.C. 2014).

On December 29, 2014, Plaintiff appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court. On August 14, 2015, the D.C. Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court, in an opinion by Judge Cornelia T.L. Pillard. Arpaio v. Obama, 797 F.3d 11 (D.C. Cir. 2015). This ended the case.

Frances Hollander - 11/01/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Government Services (specify)
Immigration
Deportation - procedure
Status/Classification
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. ยงยง 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
President of the United States
U.S. Attorney General
Plaintiff Description Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
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)
14-5325 (D.D.C.) 09/03/2015
IM-DC-0023-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Civil Complaint 11/20/2014
IM-DC-0023-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice 12/17/2014
IM-DC-0023-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion 12/23/2014 (27 F.Supp.3d 185) (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0023-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion for the Court Filed by Circuit Judge Pillard Concurring Opinion Filed by Circuit Judge Brown 08/14/2015 (797 F.3d 11)
IM-DC-0023-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Brown, Janice Rogers (D.C. Circuit)
IM-DC-0023-0001
Howell, Beryl Alaine (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0023-0004 | IM-DC-0023-9000
Pillard, Cornelia Thayer Livingston (D.C. Circuit, D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0023-0001
Srinivasan, Srikanth (D.C. Circuit)
IM-DC-0023-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Klayman, Larry (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0023-0002 | IM-DC-0023-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bladuell, Hector G. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0023-0003
Branda, Joyce R. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0023-0003
Cohen, Bradley H. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0023-0003
Freeny, Kyle Renee (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0023-0003
Hartnett, Kathleen R. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0023-0003 | IM-DC-0023-9000
Kelleher, Diane (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0023-0003
Kirschner, Adam D. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0023-0003 | IM-DC-0023-9000
Saltman, Julie Shana (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0023-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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