University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Cuban American Bar Ass'n., Inc. v. Christopher IM-FL-0003
Docket / Court 94-2183-CV-CCA ( S.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On October 23, 1994, the Cuban American Bar Association, Inc., Cuban Legal Alliance, Inc., and Due Process, Inc. and several Cuban detainees being held at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay under a grant of safe haven, filed a class action complaint the United States District Court for the ... read more >
On October 23, 1994, the Cuban American Bar Association, Inc., Cuban Legal Alliance, Inc., and Due Process, Inc. and several Cuban detainees being held at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay under a grant of safe haven, filed a class action complaint the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, challenging the detainees' denial of access to attorneys. Plaintiff sought an injunction to prevent the government from denying Cuban rights organizations reasonable access to their Guantanamo Bay clients and from "encouraging or coercing, directly or indirectly, the repatriation to Cuba of, and repatriating, any [Cuban migrant] currently being detained by the United States Government."

The Haitian Refugee Center, Inc. filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of Haitians detained at Guantanamo Bay under a grant of safe haven. Both cases were assigned to District Court Judge C. Clyde Atkins.

The District Court (Judge Atkins) entered a series of preliminary injunctions, granting attorneys for Cuban and Haitian migrants access to their clients and setting limitations on other government activity. The Court also required the government to release names of all detained migrants to the humanitarian organizational plaintiffs. The government appealed and the cases were consolidated by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Court of Appeals (Judge Birch) dissolved the preliminary injunctions issued by the District Court and remanded the cases. The Court held that the Cuban and Haitian migrants that were detained in safe haven outside of the physical borders of the United States did not have any cognizable statutory or constitutional rights and that the plaintiff humanitarian organizations did not have a First Amendment right to associate with the detainees. Cuban American Bar Ass'n, Inc. v. Christopher, 43 F.3d 1412 (11th Cir. 1995).

Dan Dalton - 11/13/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Conditions of confinement
Immigration
Asylum - criteria
Asylum - procedure
Constitutional rights
Immigration lawyers
Refugees
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Bivens
Defendant(s) Immigration and Naturalization Service
U.S. Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description Cuban and Haitian refugees detained at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay under a grant of safe haven.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1995
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 01/18/1995 (43 F.3d 1412)
IM-FL-0003-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Birch, Stanley F. Jr. (Eleventh Circuit)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Carnes, Edward Earl (Eleventh Circuit)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Kravitch, Phyllis A. (Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Baruch, Douglas W. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Boyer, Robert L. (Florida)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Castillo, Carlos B. (Florida)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Dorta, Martias (Florida)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Garcia-Pedrosa, Jose (Florida)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Jimenez, Marcos Daniel (Florida)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Juceam, Robert E. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Kadre, Manuel (Florida)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Koh, Harold H. (Connecticut)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Kurzban, Ira J. (Florida)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Levin, Oscar (Florida)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Martinez, Roberto (Florida)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Ochoa, Leopold (Florida)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Scherker, Elliot H. (Florida)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Tetzeil, Helena (Florida)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Kanter, William (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Kessler, Elizabeth A. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Kneedler, Edwin S. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Loeb, Robert Mark (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Mollin, Alfred (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Raab, Michael S. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Singer, Michael Jay (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Other Lawyers Coradin, Ahpaly J. G. (New York)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Guttentag, Lucas (New York)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Mariner, Joanne (New York)
IM-FL-0003-0001
McNary, Gene (Missouri)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Rees, Grover Joseph (Louisiana)
IM-FL-0003-0001
Vasquez, Carlos Manuel (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0003-0001

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