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Case Name Farm Labor Org. Comm. v. Ohio State Highway Patrol IM-OH-0001
Docket / Court 3:96-cv-07580-JGC ( N.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On September 18, 1996, a group of Hispanic migrant workers filed a lawsuit against the Ohio State Highway Patrol under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, alleging that the Highway Patrol conducted unconstitutional automobile stops, detentions ... read more >
On September 18, 1996, a group of Hispanic migrant workers filed a lawsuit against the Ohio State Highway Patrol under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, alleging that the Highway Patrol conducted unconstitutional automobile stops, detentions and searches solely on the basis of race and/or national origin; interrogated them about their immigration status and confiscated immigration papers without justification. Plaintiffs asserted violations of the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, and the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as class certification.

On June 24, 1997, the District Court (Judge James G. Carr) denied plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction, as none of the named plaintiffs had ever been stopped by the Highway Patrol. After amending their complaint to add plaintiffs who had been so detained, plaintiffs renewed their request for a preliminary injunction. Judge Carr issued a preliminary injunction on December 8, 1997, prohibiting the questioning about immigration status, or seizure of immigration papers, without reasonable cause. He, however, declined relief on plaintiffs' claim of stops based on ethnicity. Farm Labor Organizing Committee v. Ohio State Highway Patrol, 991 F.Supp. 895 (N.D.Ohio 1997). On August 17, 1998, the District Court certified the case as a class action. Farm Labor Organizing Committee v. Ohio State Highway Patrol, 184 F.R.D. 583, (N.D. Ohio 1998).

The parties then filed cross-motions for summary judgment. By order dated September 8, 1999, the Court (Judge Carr) granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on one claim (Fourth Amendment violation in retaining two plaintiffs' green cards for four days following traffic stop), but entered judgment for defendants on all other claims. The preliminary injunction was dissolved. Plaintiffs moved for reconsideration of their claims for injunctive relief under Title VI, class-wide claims for injunctive relief under the Fourth Amendment, and equal protection claims. The District Court granted in part and denied in part the motion for reconsideration, granting partial summary judgment to plaintiffs' on their equal protection claims, but denying relief under Title VI and finding that there as no standing for class wide injunctive relief. The Court also refused to extend qualified immunity to defendants on some claims. Farm Labor Organizing Committee v. Ohio State Highway Patrol, 95 F.Supp.2d 723 (N.D.Ohio Apr 20, 2000). Defendants then appealed. The Court of Appeals (Circuit Judge Moore) affirmed. Farm Labor Organizing Committee v. Ohio State Highway Patrol 308 F.3d 523 (6th Cir. 2002).

On remand, the parties settled the case. A formal Settlement Agreement was filed on May 5, 2003. Under the Agreement, the Highway Patrol agreed to pay two named plaintiffs $7,500 each and pay attorneys' fees of $85,000 to the Equal Justice Foundation. The Highway Patrol also agreed to continue to maintain and enforce its policies, procedures and training protocols regarding the issue of racial bias.

We have no further information on this case.

Erica Woodruff - 08/20/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Ohio State Highway Patrol
Plaintiff Description Hispanic migrant workers that claimed the OSHP violated their constitutional rights by interrogating them about their immigration status, and, in some cases, confiscating immigration documents, on the basis of their Hispanic appearance.
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2003
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)
00-3653 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 05/25/2000
IM-OH-0001-9001 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
3:96-cv-07580-JGC (N.D. Ohio) 05/05/2003
IM-OH-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 09/18/1996
IM-OH-0001-0004 PDF | Detail
Amended Complaint 08/19/1997
IM-OH-0001-0005 PDF | Detail
Order 12/08/1997 (991 F.Supp. 895) (N.D. Ohio)
IM-OH-0001-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Opinion 08/17/1998 (184 F.R.D. 583) (N.D. Ohio)
IM-OH-0001-0009 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 04/20/2000 (95 F.Supp.2d 723) (N.D. Ohio)
IM-OH-0001-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 10/17/2002 (308 F.3d 523)
IM-OH-0001-0008 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Mandate 01/08/2003
IM-OH-0001-0003 PDF | Detail
Settlement Agreement 01/31/2003
IM-OH-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges Carr, James G. (N.D. Ohio, FISC) [Magistrate]
IM-OH-0001-0002 | IM-OH-0001-0007 | IM-OH-0001-0009 | IM-OH-0001-9000 | IM-OH-0001-9001
Cole, Ransey Guy Jr. (Sixth Circuit)
IM-OH-0001-0008
Kennedy, Cornelia Groefsema (Sixth Circuit, E.D. Mich.)
IM-OH-0001-0008 | IM-OH-0001-9001
Moore, Karen Nelson (Sixth Circuit)
IM-OH-0001-0008 | IM-OH-0001-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Finnegan, John Mark (Michigan)
IM-OH-0001-0001 | IM-OH-0001-0004 | IM-OH-0001-0005 | IM-OH-0001-0007 | IM-OH-0001-0008 | IM-OH-0001-0009 | IM-OH-0001-9000 | IM-OH-0001-9001
Senhauser, William B. (Ohio)
IM-OH-0001-0004 | IM-OH-0001-0005 | IM-OH-0001-0007 | IM-OH-0001-0009 | IM-OH-0001-9000
Skaggs, Kimberly M. (Ohio)
IM-OH-0001-0001 | IM-OH-0001-0008 | IM-OH-0001-9000 | IM-OH-0001-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Adler, Allen Paul (Ohio)
IM-OH-0001-0007 | IM-OH-0001-0009 | IM-OH-0001-9000
Dorris, Tomi L. (Ohio)
IM-OH-0001-0001 | IM-OH-0001-0007 | IM-OH-0001-9000
Marti, Todd Robert (Ohio)
IM-OH-0001-0008 | IM-OH-0001-9001
O'Brien, Carol Hamilton (Ohio)
IM-OH-0001-0001 | IM-OH-0001-0007 | IM-OH-0001-0009 | IM-OH-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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