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Case Name Perales Serna v. Texas Department of State Health Services, Vital Statistics Unit IM-TX-0042
Docket / Court 1:15-cv-00446-RP ( W.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Immigration
Public Benefits / Government Services
Case Summary
On May 26th 2015, a group of parents and guardians of children in Texas filed this lawsuit in U.S District Court in the Western District of Texas. The plaintiffs sued Texas Department of State Health Services under 28 U.S.C. §2201 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violating the due process clause of the ... read more >
On May 26th 2015, a group of parents and guardians of children in Texas filed this lawsuit in U.S District Court in the Western District of Texas. The plaintiffs sued Texas Department of State Health Services under 28 U.S.C. §2201 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violating the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiffs, represented by LUPE, a non-profit organization in Texas, asked for the release of the birth certificates to the parents of these American-born children. The plaintiffs claimed that defendant’s actions of not releasing the birth certificates violated the Fourteenth Amendment and the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.

Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the defendants were discriminating on the basis of national origin and only holding on to the birth certificates because they are children of immigrants.

Texas DSHS moved to dismiss the complaint, claiming a lack of subject-matter jurisdiction under the Eleventh amendment and state sovereign immunity. They also move to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim, first because DSHS is not a person under § 1983, and additionally because the supremacy clause and preemption clause dictate dismissal. On August 26, 2015, Judge Robert L. Pitman granted plaintiffs motion to amend and join parties. On August 26, 2015, Judge Robert L. Pitman denied without prejudice the defendant’s motion to dismiss.

On September 14, 2015 Judge Robert L. Pitman allowed the plaintiffs to have live testimony via videoconference at the hearing. The plaintiffs moved for this because some people who were testifying were no longer located in Texas.

On October 16, 2015 Judge Robert L. Pitman denied the plaintiffs request for emergency application for a temporary injunction.

As of September 28, 2016, the case is ongoing.

Megan Giles - 09/30/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
General
Records Disclosure
Immigration
Constitutional rights
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) The State of Texas
Plaintiff Description A group of immigrant parents and guardians of children in Texas
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
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−00446−RP (W.D. Tex.) 09/08/2016
IM-TX-0042-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 09/18/2016
IM-TX-0042-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 09/18/2016
IM-TX-0042-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Filing a supplement for Live Testimony] 09/18/2016
IM-TX-0042-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Preliminary Injunction] 09/18/2016
IM-TX-0042-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fourth Amended Complaint 09/28/2016
IM-TX-0042-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Austin, Andrew W. (W.D. Tex.) [Magistrate]
IM-TX-0042-9000
Pitman, Robert Lee (W.D. Tex.) [Magistrate]
IM-TX-0042-0002 | IM-TX-0042-0003 | IM-TX-0042-0004 | IM-TX-0042-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Harbury, Jennifer K (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-0001 | IM-TX-0042-0006 | IM-TX-0042-9000
Harrington, James C (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-0001 | IM-TX-0042-9000
Marziani, Mimi Murray Digby (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-9000
Olivares, Efren Carlos (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-0001 | IM-TX-0042-0006 | IM-TX-0042-9000
Van Dalen, Marinda (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-0001 | IM-TX-0042-0006 | IM-TX-0042-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Albright, Thomas A. (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-9000
Duke, John Earl (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-9000
Rietvelt, Marc (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-9000
Other Lawyers Drazin, Cheryl R (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-9000
Espiritu, Nicholas David (California)
IM-TX-0042-9000
Freeman, Steve (New York)
IM-TX-0042-9000
Fuchs, Kimberly (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-9000
George, R. James (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-9000
Jones, Lauren A. (New York)
IM-TX-0042-9000
Keaney, Melissa S. (California)
IM-TX-0042-9000
Kennedy, Peter D (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-9000
Kowalski, Daniel M (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-9000
Lein, David P (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-9000
Lewis, Gary L (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-9000
Raymond, Virginia Marie (Texas)
IM-TX-0042-9000

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