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Case Name Catholic Charities v. Chertoff IM-CA-0017
Docket / Court 3:07-cv-01307-PJH ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On March 6, 2007, a coalition of social justice and immigrant rights groups, led by Catholic Charities CYO, filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief compelling the federal government to implement the " ... read more >
On March 6, 2007, a coalition of social justice and immigrant rights groups, led by Catholic Charities CYO, filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief compelling the federal government to implement the "U" visa program. The U visa program was part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(U), ("VTVPA"), which permitted immigrants who were victims of serious crimes and who assisted law enforcement to apply for and receive U visas. Immigrants holding a U visa for three years could apply for lawful permanent resident status. Plaintiffs alleged that for six years the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") failed to implement the U visa program, thereby denying immigrant benefits that Congress intended. Plaintiffs alleged claims under the Victims Protection Act of 2000, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(U); the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1103; the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005; the Administrative Procedure Act, §§ 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.; the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution; and Article II, §§ 1 and 3, of the United States Constitution. Attorneys with the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, the Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, the Sanctuary for Families, the Brooklyn Family Justice Center, the Public Law Center, the API Legal Outreach and the Central American Resource Center represented plaintiffs.

The government moved to dismiss the entire case on grounds which included lack of standing, lack of jurisdiction, and failure to state a claim.

On August 16, 2007, the District Court (Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton) granted the government's motion to dismiss in part as to plaintiffs' claims under Article II of the Constitution. The motion was denied as to all other claims. The Court ordered the government to file a monthly report outlining the status of enacting the regulations at issue. Catholic Charities CYO v. Chertoff, 2007 WL 2344995 (N.D.Cal. Aug. 16, 2007).

On February 20, 2008, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, which defendants moved to dismiss on March 31, 2008.

On December 22, 2008, the court granted defendants' motion to dismiss. Catholic Charities CYO v. Chertoff, 622 F. Supp. 2d 865 (N.D. Cal. 2008) aff'd sub nom. Catholic Charities CYO v. Napolitano, 368 F. App'x 750 (9th Cir. 2010). The court found that: (1) plaintiffs' claims as to failure to implement the visa program or issue necessary regulations were moot; (2) plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge delay in promulgating necessary regulations or failure to grant visas; (3) plaintiffs' claims regarding derivative visa eligibility were moot in light of a guidance document by USCIS; (4) VTVPA provided no private cause of action for imposition of unreasonable requirements for law enforcement certifications (LECs) and refusal to issue employment authorizations; (5) plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge failure to issue LECs; and (6) plaintiffs' due process and equal protection rights were not violated by failure to timely implement program.

Plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on February 11, 2008. While the appeal was pending, the district court entered final judgment on August 6, 2009.

On February 25, 2010, the Court of Appeals (Judges Alex Kozinksi, David R. Thompson, M. Margaret McKeown) affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' claims. Catholic Charities CYO v. Napolitano, 368 F. App'x 750 (9th Cir. 2010).

Dan Dalton - 11/06/2007
Jennifer Bronson - 12/13/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Constitutional rights
U.S. citizenship - acquiring
Visas - criteria
Visas - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description All persons who are prima facie eligible for a U visa and who have or would have applied for one but for defendants’ failure to issue U visas or promulgate regulations implementing § 1512 of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000.
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 None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
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)
3:07-cv-01307-PJH (N.D. Cal.) 05/20/2010
IM-CA-0017-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [Class Action] 03/06/2007
IM-CA-0017-0001 PDF | Detail
Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Class Certification 04/18/2007
IM-CA-0017-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 05/09/2007 (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0017-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion to Dismiss 08/16/2007 (2007 WL 2344995 / 2007 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 62732) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0017-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 02/20/2008
IM-CA-0017-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion to Dismiss 12/22/2008 (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0017-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum 02/25/2010 (368 Fed.Appx. 750)
IM-CA-0017-0008 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Hamilton, Phyllis Jean (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
IM-CA-0017-0002 | IM-CA-0017-0003 | IM-CA-0017-0006 | IM-CA-0017-9000
Kozinski, Alex (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0017-0008
McKeown, M. Margaret (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0017-0008
Thompson, David R. (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0017-0008
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Babcock, Kenneth William (California)
IM-CA-0017-0001 | IM-CA-0017-0004 | IM-CA-0017-0005 | IM-CA-0017-9000
Bustamante, Andres Z. (California)
IM-CA-0017-0001 | IM-CA-0017-0004 | IM-CA-0017-0005 | IM-CA-0017-9000
Dinnerstein, Julie E. (New York)
IM-CA-0017-0001 | IM-CA-0017-0004 | IM-CA-0017-0005 | IM-CA-0017-9000
Eyster, James Parry (Michigan)
IM-CA-0017-0001 | IM-CA-0017-0004 | IM-CA-0017-0005 | IM-CA-0017-9000
Holguín, Carlos R. (California)
IM-CA-0017-0001 | IM-CA-0017-0004 | IM-CA-0017-0005 | IM-CA-0017-9000
Holguin, Charles Rudolph (California)
IM-CA-0017-9000
Hwang, Victor Murray (California)
IM-CA-0017-0001 | IM-CA-0017-0004 | IM-CA-0017-0005 | IM-CA-0017-9000
Kreymann, Kirsten Marie (California)
IM-CA-0017-0001 | IM-CA-0017-0004 | IM-CA-0017-0005 | IM-CA-0017-9000
Lee, Ivy Chloe (California)
IM-CA-0017-0001 | IM-CA-0017-0004 | IM-CA-0017-0005 | IM-CA-0017-9000
Lucas, Cynthia (California)
IM-CA-0017-0001 | IM-CA-0017-0004 | IM-CA-0017-9000
Schey, Peter A. (California)
IM-CA-0017-0001 | IM-CA-0017-0004 | IM-CA-0017-0005 | IM-CA-0017-9000
Sharp, Daniel Joseph (California)
IM-CA-0017-0001 | IM-CA-0017-0004 | IM-CA-0017-0005 | IM-CA-0017-9000
Viramontes, Angela (California)
IM-CA-0017-0005 | IM-CA-0017-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Deiss, Ila Casy (California)
IM-CA-0017-9000
Lawrence, Victor M. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0017-9000
Robins, Jeffrey S (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0017-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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