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Case Name Campos v. INS IM-FL-0002
Docket / Court 98-2231-CV-GOLD ( S.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On September 22, 1998, seven legal permanent residents who were unable to pass English and Civics portions of the naturalization exam due to mental and physical disabilities filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, challenging the denial of their ... read more >
On September 22, 1998, seven legal permanent residents who were unable to pass English and Civics portions of the naturalization exam due to mental and physical disabilities filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, challenging the denial of their requests for medical waivers by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Plaintiffs contended that the INS engaged in a systematic practice of denying medical waivers (N-648 Requests for Medical Waiver) by second guessing the determination of medical professionals in violation of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 553, 555(e), 701 et seq., and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

The same date the suit was filed, filed an emergency motion for a TRO and a preliminary injunction to prohibit INS from proceeding with naturalization examinations and interviews of two plaintiffs until after court ruled on matters raised in class action complaint. The District Court (Judge Alan S. Gold) granted the motion and entered a preliminary injunction. Campos v. INS 70 F.2d 1296, 1310 (S.D. Fla. 1998)

The INS moved to dismiss the case. On December 9, 1998, the District Court (Judge Gold) dismissed plaintiffs' substantive due process claim, but denied the motion with regard to all other claims. Campos v. INS 32 F.Supp. 2d 1337 (S.D. Fla. 1998)

Plaintiffs then moved for class certification, for summary judgment and for a permanent injunction. On February 24, 1999, the District Court granted the plaintiffs' motion to certify this case as a class action. The class was defined as" "All persons within the Miami District of the Immigration and Naturalization Service who have properly applied, or will apply in the future, for naturalization under 8 U.S.C. § 1445 who have also had pending at any time since March 19, 1997, a request for a waiver of either or both of the naturalization requirements that they demonstrate an understanding of the English language and that they demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and of the principles and form of government of the United States, because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment and whose request for waiver is now pending, will be filed in the future, or has been rejected by the INS, and excluding from the class anyone who has been naturalized." Campos v. I.N.S., 188 F.R.D. 656 (S.D.Fla.,1999).

Thereafter, the parties engaged in settlement talks which resulted in a resolution of the case. After conducting a fairness hearing on August 6, 1999, the District Court formally approved the settlement. Campos v. INS, 1999 WL 1044233 (S.D.Fla. Aug. 6, 1999). The Settlement Agreement called for the INS to issue a new "Policy Memorandum," entitled Section 312 Disability Naturalization Adjudications Policy Memorandum No. 47, which clarified that diseases or disabilities related to or caused by old age, like Alzheimer's and senile dementia, as well as depression, would be considered as disability exceptions. The Policy Memorandum created new procedures to notify people why their medical waivers had been denied. In addition to the policy changes, the INS agreed to reprocess the rejected medical waiver requests of class members.

Erica Woodruff - 08/03/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Constitutional rights
U.S. citizenship - acquiring
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Bivens
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Immigration and Naturalization Service
Plaintiff Description All persons within the Miami District of the INS who have properly applied for naturalization under 8 U.S.C. § 1445 and who have also requested a medical waiver as to English and Civics portions of the naturalization exam.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Declaratory Judgment
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1999 - 2001
Case Closing Year 1999
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)
1:98-cv-02231-ASG (S.D. Fla.) 09/22/1998
IM-FL-0002-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 09/28/1998
IM-FL-0002-0001 PDF | Detail
Opinion 10/16/1998 (70 F.Supp.2d 1296) (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0002-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 12/09/1998 (32 F.Supp.2d 1337) (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0002-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 02/24/1999 (188 F.R.D. 656) (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0002-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Notice of Settlement Agreement in Class Action Case 06/22/1999
IM-FL-0002-0003 PDF | Detail
ORDER APPROVING STIPULATED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT 08/06/1999 (1999 WL 1044233) (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0002-0008 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Order Approving Stipulated Settlement Agreement 08/10/1999 (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0002-0002 PDF | Detail
Order of Dismissal with Prejudice 08/10/1999 (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0002-0004 PDF | Detail
Judges Gold, Alan Stephen (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0002-0002 | IM-FL-0002-0004 | IM-FL-0002-0005 | IM-FL-0002-0006 | IM-FL-0002-0007 | IM-FL-0002-0008 | IM-FL-0002-9000
Turnoff, William C. (S.D. Fla.) [Magistrate]
IM-FL-0002-0003 | IM-FL-0002-0008
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Elsesser, Charles F Jr. (Florida)
IM-FL-0002-0001 | IM-FL-0002-0005 | IM-FL-0002-0006 | IM-FL-0002-0007 | IM-FL-0002-9000
Friedland, Joan (Florida)
IM-FL-0002-0001 | IM-FL-0002-0005 | IM-FL-0002-0007
Little, Cheryl (Florida)
IM-FL-0002-0001 | IM-FL-0002-0005 | IM-FL-0002-0007
Losada, Lisette Maria (Florida)
IM-FL-0002-0001 | IM-FL-0002-0006 | IM-FL-0002-0007 | IM-FL-0002-9000
Newman, JoNel (Florida)
IM-FL-0002-0001 | IM-FL-0002-0005 | IM-FL-0002-0006 | IM-FL-0002-0007 | IM-FL-0002-9000
Sharpless, Rebecca (Florida)
IM-FL-0002-0005 | IM-FL-0002-0007
Defendant's Lawyers Hunger, Frank W. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0002-0005
Lee, Dexter (Florida)
IM-FL-0002-0005 | IM-FL-0002-0006 | IM-FL-0002-0007 | IM-FL-0002-9000
Loughran, Alice E. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0002-0006 | IM-FL-0002-0007 | IM-FL-0002-9000
Ogden, David W. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0002-0007
Wallbaum, Teresa A. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0002-0006 | IM-FL-0002-9000
Walters, Mark C. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0002-0007
Werner, Linda Sue (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0002-0006 | IM-FL-0002-0007 | IM-FL-0002-9000
Other Lawyers Bevington, Elizabeth Lewis (Florida)
IM-FL-0002-0006 | IM-FL-0002-9000

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