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Case Name In re Longstaff IM-TX-0014
Docket / Court Misc. No. 1261; Petition ( N.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
In 1979, Richard John Longstaff, a 15 year resident alien of the U.S., filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas to challenge denial of his naturalization because he was a homosexual at the time he was admitted to the U.S. Longstaff was a native and citizen ... read more >
In 1979, Richard John Longstaff, a 15 year resident alien of the U.S., filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas to challenge denial of his naturalization because he was a homosexual at the time he was admitted to the U.S. Longstaff was a native and citizen of the United Kingdom who was admitted to the U.S. in 1965 as a permanent resident. After living and working in the U.S. for 15 years, Longstaff petitioned to become a naturalized citizen. The District Court denied naturalization because it found that Longstaff had violated the Texas Penal Code by engaging in homosexual activity and had lacked established good moral character. The case was affirmed on appeal, In re Longstaff, 631 F.2d 731 (5th Cir.1980) (per curiam), but remanded to allow presentation of additional evidence of his good moral character. In re Longstaff, 634 F.2d 629 (5th Cir.1980) (on rehearing).

On remand, the District Court (Judge Joe Ewing Estes) again denied Longstaff's petition for naturalization. Longstaff appealed.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (Circuit Judge, Alvin B. Rubin) affirmed, determining that the INS properly denied naturalization because Longstaff was excludable as being "afflicted with psychopathic personality." Citing the Supreme Court case Boutilier v. Immigration & Naturalization Service, 387 U.S. 118, 120, 87 S.Ct. 1563, 1565, 18 L.Ed.2d 661, 664 (1967), the Appeals Court determined that the legislative history of the Act indicated that the Congress intended the phrase 'psychopathic personality' to include homosexuals. Since Longstaff was admittedly a homosexual, he was properly denied naturalization. Matter of Longstaff, 716 F.2d 1439 (5th Cir. 1983). Rehearing was denied, Matter of Longstaff, 719 F.2d 404 (5th 1983), as was certiorari. Longstaff v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, 467 U.S. 1219, 104 S.Ct. 2668, 81 L.Ed.2d 373 (1984).

Dan Dalton - 12/05/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Immigration
Status/Classification
U.S. citizenship - acquiring
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. ยงยง 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
Plaintiff Description Resident alien who was denied naturalization due to homosexuality
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1984
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
Table Opinion 10/31/1980 (631 F.2d 731)
IM-TX-0014-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Table Opinion 12/11/1980 (634 F.2d 629)
IM-TX-0014-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum of Decision 03/25/1982 (538 F.Supp. 589) (N.D. Tex.)
IM-TX-0014-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 09/28/1983 (716 F.2d 1439)
IM-TX-0014-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Appellate Decision [Table] 10/27/1983 (719 F.2d 404)
IM-TX-0014-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Denial of Petition for Writ of Certiorari 05/29/1984 (467 U.S. 1219)
IM-TX-0014-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Estes, William Lee (E.D. Tex.)
IM-TX-0014-0002
Rubin, Alvin Benjamin (E.D. La., Fifth Circuit)
IM-TX-0014-0001
Stagg, Thomas E. Jr. (W.D. La.)
IM-TX-0014-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Filppu, Lauri Steven (District of Columbia)
IM-TX-0014-0001
Perry, Margaret (District of Columbia)
IM-TX-0014-0001
Tidwell, Samuel M (Texas)
IM-TX-0014-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Bates, Brian K. (Texas)
IM-TX-0014-0001 | IM-TX-0014-0002
Cabiness, Charles D (Texas)
IM-TX-0014-0002
Curry, James A (Texas)
IM-TX-0014-0002
Reinfeld, Lee B (Texas)
IM-TX-0014-0002
Other Lawyers Graff, Leonard (California)
IM-TX-0014-0001

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