University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Becker v. Marks IM-NY-0002
Docket / Court 72-CV-3436 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
In 1973, attorney James Becket, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, challenging the INS practice of maintaining a check list ("lookout book") of names of individuals to be stopped ... read more >
In 1973, attorney James Becket, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, challenging the INS practice of maintaining a check list ("lookout book") of names of individuals to be stopped by immigration officials if they attempt to gain entry into the United States. Becket claimed that he was stopped twice by immigration officials when attempting to return to the U.S. from Europe because his name appeared in the lookout book. Becket corresponded with the INS in an attempt to have his name removed from the lookout book and to learn why it was in there. The INS responded that it had removed Becket's name, but would not disclose other information requested. This suit followed. Becket alleged that the existence and use of the lookout book violated the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments and the Administrative Procedures Act; 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706. He sought declaratory and injunctive relief, "declaring the invalidity of and enjoining the defendants from maintaining the listing of his name and additional information concerning him and his First Amendment activities in a checklist maintained by them at all points of entry into the United States." Plaintiff also sought class certification.

The government moved to dismiss the case or for judgment on the pleadings. It contended that the plaintiff was the victim of misidentification and that his name was removed from the "lookout book." As such, the government maintained that plaintiff had no standing to pursue the case.

On May 14, 1973, the District Court (Judge Gurfein) dismissed the case, holding that plaintiff's individual claim was moot. Becket v. Marks, 358 F.Supp. 1180 (S.D.N.Y. 1973).

Dan Dalton - 11/04/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Admission - criteria
Admission - procedure
Border police
Constitutional rights
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Bivens
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Immigration and Naturalization Service
Plaintiff Description All citizens whose names appear on the INS "lookout book" and for whom there was no federal arrest warrant, indictment or information, nor any court order in connection with bail, parole or probation.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1973
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 05/14/1973 (358 F.Supp. 1180) (S.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0002-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Gurfein, Murray Irwin (S.D.N.Y., Second Circuit)
IM-NY-0002-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Rosen, Sanford Jay (California)
IM-NY-0002-0001
Wulf, Melvin L. (New York)
IM-NY-0002-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Seymour, Whitney North (New York)
IM-NY-0002-0001
Wallenstein, Stanley H. (New York)
IM-NY-0002-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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