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Case Name Turkmen v. Ashcroft IM-NY-0007
Docket / Court 1:02-cv-02307-JG-SMG ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
Turkmen v. Ashcroft is one of two related actions filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York by plaintiffs who were investigated and detained for suspected terrorist ties in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. A potential but uncertified class action suit, this case is on a ... read more >
Turkmen v. Ashcroft is one of two related actions filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York by plaintiffs who were investigated and detained for suspected terrorist ties in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. A potential but uncertified class action suit, this case is on a second appeal and cross-appeal to the Second Circuit following a dismissal-in-part by District Court Judge Gleeson on January 15, 2013. The consolidated appeals were heard on May 1, 2014.

The related case, Elmaghraby v. Ashcroft (also assigned to Judge Gleeson), was settled following a ruling by the Supreme Court (Ashcroft v. Iqbal, No. 07-1015).

Description from Center for Constitutional Rights:
Turkmen v. Ashcroft is a lawsuit brought against former Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, former INS Commissioner James Ziglar, and employees of the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York. The suit charges that on the pretext of minor immigration violations, the Immigration and Naturalization Service unlawfully held the plaintiffs -- all men from Arab or South Asian countries -- in detention for the months that the FBI took to clear them of links to terrorism, long after the time their immigration cases were completed. The complaint alleges that Defendants violated the detainees' rights under the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments and under international human rights law. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The eight named plaintiffs include Muslims from Pakistan, Egypt, Algeria and Turkey, as well as a Hindu man born in India and a Buddhist from Nepal. Despite the fact that the government has never charged any of the plaintiffs with connections to terrorism, the INS kept them in detention for up to nine months. Instead of being presumed innocent until proven guilty, they and hundreds of other post-9/11 detainees were presumed guilty of terrorism until proven innocent to the satisfaction of law enforcement authorities. The suit further charges that some of these detainees were improperly assigned to the Administrative Maximum Special Housing Unit (ADMAX SHU); kept in solitary confinement with the lights on all day; placed under a communications blackout so that they could not seek the assistance of their attorneys, families, and friends; subjected to physical and verbal abuse; forced to endure inhumane conditions of confinement; and obstructed in their efforts to practice their religion. The plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages. [ Accessed 10/29/14].

Plaintiffs also allege violations of the Sixth Amendment; the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350; and the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"), 28 U.S.C. § 2674. Factually, plaintiffs alleged that they were subjected to delayed service of notices to appear, a blanket no bond policy, and were arbitrarily classified as "of high interest" targets. They also alleged that once they were detained, they were subjected to unlawful conditions of confinement which included strip searches, sleep deprivation, constructive denial of exercise, denial of hygiene items and adequate food, inadequate medical attention, deliberate interference with religious rights, communications blackouts, interference with access to counsel, denial of consular right, and failure to provide handbooks. Plaintiffs further alleged that they were subjected to these harsh conditions because they were Muslim Arabs and that their continued detention under these conditions stemmed from a discriminatory policy created by high-level officials in the Bush Administration.

Originally filed in 2002, the complaint was amended in light of DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reports published in April and December 2003. Those amendments added new allegations, the FTCA claims, one additional plaintiff, and 28 MDC employees as defendants.

Four plaintiffs who had been deported were paroled in the U.S. to be deposed. This was the first time non-citizens barred from re-entering the U.S. were allowed to enter for the purpose of pursuing a civil case. While in the country they were under the strict custody of the U.S. Marshall Service.

In 2007, the DOJ indicted eleven current and former MDC employees, including three of the Turkmen defendants. Ten of the eleven were convicted of physical attacks against MDC detainees (not including the plaintiffs here).

Following the 2009 Supreme Court ruling in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, six of the plaintiffs settled their claims for $1.26 million. The fourth amended complaint (September 13, 2010) adds six other plaintiffs and attempts to meet the pleading standard set in Iqbal, to maintain claims against Ashcroft and other high-ranked officials.

On January 15, 2013, Judge Gleeson dismissed the claims against Ashcroft, Mueller, and Ziglar (the "DOJ defendants") and dismissed two of the claims against the other five defendants (the "MDC defendants"). Those two claims, based on alleged communications blackout and interference with counsel, were dismissed on the ground of qualified immunity.

The plaintiffs collectively and the MDC defendants individually appealed the ruling to the Second Circuit. The appeals were consolidated as Case No. 13-1662. The case was heard on May 1, 2014.

On June 17, 2015, the Court filed its opinion on the case, affirming in part, denying in part, and remanding the case to the district court for further action consistent with the Court opinion. The Court affirmed the plaintiffs’ due process, equal protection, Fourth Amendment, and §1983 conspiracy claims but denied their free exercise claim. In doing so, the Court championed two major changes: first, extending the application of a Bivens action to the Attorney General and the FBI Director for their policy decisions post-9/11, “a context not previously recognized by the Supreme Court or Second Circuit precedent.” 789 F.3d 218 (2d Cir. 2015). Second, the Court denied that qualified immunity defenses applied to the DOJ and MDC defendants regarding the plaintiffs’ claims of punitive and discriminatory confinement and unreasonable strip searches after the defendants learned that the plaintiffs were being detained without individual suspicion of terrorist connections.

Following the Court’s decision, the defendants petitioned for a rehearing en banc, but were denied. They subsequently motioned for a 90 day stay of the Court’s mandate (from December 11, 2015 to March 10, 2016) while the Solicitor General reviewed the case and decided whether or not to petition for certiorari. The Court granted the stay, and as of February 15, 2016, the Solicitor General has yet to file a petition.

Dan Dalton - 01/04/2008
Nadji Allan - 10/29/2014
Allison Hight - 02/15/2016


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Conditions of confinement
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Criminal prosecution
Detention - conditions
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. § 2674
Bivens
Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA), 28 U.S.C. § 1350
Defendant(s) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC)
United States Attorney General
Plaintiff Description All male Arab or Muslim non-citizen who were (1) arrested by the INS or FBI after 9/11 and charged with immigration violations (2) detained at MDC or Passaic County Jail; (3) treated as “of interest” and (4) subjected to a blanket no-bond policy
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
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
Case Listing IM-NY-0025 : Elmaghraby v. Ashcroft (E.D.N.Y.)
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)
02-cv-02307-JG-SMG (E.D.N.Y.) 06/17/2013
IM-NY-0007-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 04/17/2002
IM-NY-0007-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Answer to Third Amended Complaint 12/09/2004
IM-NY-0007-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 05/30/2006 (2006 WL 1517743) (E.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0007-0013 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Opinion 06/14/2006 (2006 WL 1662663) (E.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0007-0009 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Motion to Dismiss 07/07/2006
IM-NY-0007-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order 08/02/2006 (2006 WL 2224492) (E.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0007-0010 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Order 08/18/2006 (2006 WL 2403432) (E.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0007-0011 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Order 10/03/2006 (2006 WL 4483151) (E.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0007-0012 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Fourth Amended Class Action Complaint 09/13/2010
IM-NY-0007-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order 01/15/2013 (915 F.Supp.2d 314) (E.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0007-0014 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 06/17/2015 (789 F.3d 218)
IM-NY-0007-0015 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Concurrence] 06/17/2015 (789 F.3d 218)
IM-NY-0007-0016 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Gleeson, John (E.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0007-0009 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0014 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Gold, Steven M. (E.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Pooler, Rosemary S. (Second Circuit, N.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0007-0015
Raggi, Reena (Second Circuit, E.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0007-0016
Wesley, Richard C. (State Trial Court, State Appellate Court, Second Circuit)
IM-NY-0007-0015
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chang, Nancy (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0005 | IM-NY-0007-0009 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Goodman, William Harry (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0005
Green, Jennifer (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0005 | IM-NY-0007-0009 | IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Kadidal, Shayana (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0009 | IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Meeropol, Rachael (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0006 | IM-NY-0007-0008 | IM-NY-0007-0009 | IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Olshansky, Barbara J. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0005 | IM-NY-0007-0009 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Patel, Sunita (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0006
Perry, Robert Thomas (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0005
Phillips, C William (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0006
Quigley, William Patrick (Louisiana)
IM-NY-0007-0006
Reinert, Alexander A. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Sawhney, Pamela (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0006
Strugar, Matthew D. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0008 | IM-NY-0007-0009 | IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Sum-Ping, Joanne (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0006 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Winger, Michael (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0006 | IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Yoon, Haeyoung (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Yu, Stephanie (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Zelnick, Kimberly Helene (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Avallone, Rocco G. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-9000
Bakhos, Bassel (Maryland)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Barghaan, Dennis C. (Virginia)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Beck , William (Pennsylvania)
IM-NY-0007-9000
Bell, David E. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-9000
Bennett, Jo C (Maryland)
IM-NY-0007-9000
Bernal, David V. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0009
Bloom, Margo Giselle (Pennsylvania)
IM-NY-0007-0012
Bohorquez, Fernando A. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0012
Branch, Torts (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0009
Caldwell, Leslie R. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0012
Caro, Richard Peter (Illinois)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Cash, Raymond P. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Cohen, Jennifer (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0012
Cohn, Jonathan F. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0009
Cronin, Linda (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013
D'Ambrosio, Susan M. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-9000
Driscoll, Melissa Kelly (New York)
IM-NY-0007-9000
Feldman, Cary M (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0012
Freedus, Matthew S (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0012
Graham, Robert A (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0012
Granger, Raymond (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0012
Gregg, Larry L. (Virginia)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013
Gupta, Dimple (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0009
Handler, Stephen E. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Henley, Madeline (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0009
Hogan, Matthew (Pennsylvania)
IM-NY-0007-0012
Justice, Tabitha (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-9000
Kaizer, NIcholas Gregory (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Keefe, James J. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Keisler, Peter D. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0009 | IM-NY-0007-0010
Klein, Joshua C. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Kline, David J. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0009 | IM-NY-0007-0011
Koenigsberg, David A. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Kohanim, Mehrdad (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Lahlou, Shari Ross (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0009 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Lasky, Brian N. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Lawler, William E. III (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0012
Lawrence, R. Craig (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0009 | IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Marino, Linda Marie (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0012
Martinez, Michael L. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0009 | IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Matthews, James F. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Mcdaniel, William Alden (Maryland)
IM-NY-0007-0009 | IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Mikkelsen, Deborah Prisinzano (Pennsylvania)
IM-NY-0007-0012
Miller, Brian D. (Virginia)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Molina, Ernesto H. Jr. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0009 | IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Murphy, Justin P. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Murphy, Kenneth C. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013
Nagel, Laura L (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0013
Pyles, Phyllis J. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0009
Resnick, Lauren J. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0012
Richman, Labe M. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Rosenstock, E. Michael (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Roth, Deborah L. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Ryan, James G. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Sandler, Hugh (New York)
IM-NY-0007-9000
Saville, John B. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Scarlato, Matthew (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Shivers, Yvonne (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Smart, Kyler (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Sponseller, Richard W (Virginia)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Steger, Michael Douglas (New York)
IM-NY-0007-9000
Stern, Paul David (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-9000
Sullivan, Thomas M. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Taffet, Allan N. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Teresky, Thomas Gerard (Illinois)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
VanDorp, Armelle Nina (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-9000
Wolin, Alan E. (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0010 | IM-NY-0007-0011 | IM-NY-0007-0012 | IM-NY-0007-0013 | IM-NY-0007-9000
Wood, John F. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0007-0009
Other Lawyers Goldman, Robert (New York)
IM-NY-0007-0007 | IM-NY-0007-9000

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