University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Chen v. Collins IM-MA-0002
Docket / Court 06-5197 ( State Court )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
In December 2006, four aliens lawfully in the U.S. and residing Massachusetts, along with the Brazilian Immigrant Center, Inc., the Massachusetts Immigrant and the Refuge Advocacy Coalition, Inc., filed a class action lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court, challenging the Massachusetts Registry of ... read more >
In December 2006, four aliens lawfully in the U.S. and residing Massachusetts, along with the Brazilian Immigrant Center, Inc., the Massachusetts Immigrant and the Refuge Advocacy Coalition, Inc., filed a class action lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court, challenging the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles denial of driver's licenses, learner's permits, and identification cards because of immigration status.

Plaintiffs were represented by attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

A settlement was reached between the parties in 2011, the terms of which are unknown. This case is closed.

Gregory Pitt - 07/20/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Immigration
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles
Plaintiff Description All non-citizens who reside in Massachusetts, are old enough to qualify for, and have sought or may seek, a driver's license, renewed driver's license, learner's permit, or MA ID card from the RMV, but not including those ineligible to obtain an SSN.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2011
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
Complaint 12/14/2006
IM-MA-0002-0001 PDF | Detail
ACLU Press Release: "Lawful Immigrants Sue Massachusetts RMV for Wrongful Denial of Drivers Licenses" 12/15/2006
IM-MA-0002-0002 PDF | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berman, Kenneth (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0002-0001
Gomez, Iris (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0002-0001
Tousi, Shaghayegh (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0002-0001
Wunsch, Sarah (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0002-0001
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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