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Case Name Villegas v. Silverman IM-IN-0001
Docket / Court 49D03-0208-PL-1448 ( State Court )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
In August 2002, several undocumented aliens brought a class-action lawsuit in Indiana state court (Marion Superior Court), challenging identification requirements that were issued by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) for obtaining driver's licenses or identification cards. Under the new ... read more >
In August 2002, several undocumented aliens brought a class-action lawsuit in Indiana state court (Marion Superior Court), challenging identification requirements that were issued by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) for obtaining driver's licenses or identification cards. Under the new requirements, applicants were required to show proof of a Social Security Number and U.S. citizenship or lawful immigration status. Plaintiffs were represented by the Indiana ACLU and private counsel and sought declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, plaintiffs asserted that the regulation violated the Equal Protection Clause, the Due Process Clause, and the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, as well as the Indiana Administrative Rules and Procedures Act.

In March 2004, the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. Following a hearing on the dispositive motions, the Marion Superior Court (Judge Patrick L. McCarty) entered judgment in favor of the BMV, finding that plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the BMV regulation. Plaintiffs appealed.

The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded with instructions to enter judgment in favor of plaintiffs. The Appeals Court found that plaintiffs had standing to bring the action, even if they did not have social security numbers, as possession of a social security number was not a requirement under Indiana law to obtain a drivers license. The Court also found that the BMV rule was not properly issued in accordance with the Indiana Administrative Rules and Procedures Act and was therefore void. The Court did not address plaintiffs' constitutional challenges. Villegas v. Silverman, 832 N.E.2d 598 (Ind.App. 2005).

Elizabeth Daligga - 07/02/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Federalism
General
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Status/Classification
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Plaintiff Description Illegal aliens who were unable to receive driver licenses or identification cards or both due to identification requirements for obtaining said documents
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Unknown
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2005 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2005
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
Brief of Appellee 05/05/2005
IM-IN-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
Appellants' Reply Brief 05/20/2005
IM-IN-0001-0002 PDF | Detail
Opinion [From Court of Appeals of Indiana] 08/12/2005 (832 N.E.2d 598)
IM-IN-0001-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order Denying Transfer 03/02/2006 (855 N.E.2d 1000)
IM-IN-0001-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Barnes, Michael P. (State Appellate Court)
IM-IN-0001-0003
May, Melissa S. (State Appellate Court)
IM-IN-0001-0003
Vaidik, Nancy H. (State Appellate Court)
IM-IN-0001-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Falk, Kenneth J. (Indiana)
IM-IN-0001-0002 | IM-IN-0001-0003
Gilchrist, Scott (Indiana)
IM-IN-0001-0002 | IM-IN-0001-0003
Ramirez, Rafael (Indiana)
IM-IN-0001-0002 | IM-IN-0001-0003
Shevitz, Richard (Indiana)
IM-IN-0001-0002 | IM-IN-0001-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Carter, Stephen (Indiana)
IM-IN-0001-0001 | IM-IN-0001-0003
Steiner, David L. (Indiana)
IM-IN-0001-0001 | IM-IN-0001-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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