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Case Name Tefel v. Reno IM-FL-0018
Docket / Court 1:97-cv-00805-PAS ( S.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
Case summary not yet recorded
On March 28, 1997, Nicaraguan aliens filed a class-action complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, challenging the federal government's interpretation of the applicability of the "stop-time" rule for determining eligibility for suspension of deportation.

Prior to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996, which amended the Immigration and Nationality Act, an alien facing deportation could apply for "suspension of deportation" if he met certain statutory factors, which included that the alien had been "physically present in the U.S. for a continuous period of not less than 10 years after becoming deportable or 7 years after applying for suspension of deportation." Time spent in deportation proceedings counted toward the physical-residence requirement.

The IIRIRA repealed the suspension-of-deportation provision of INA § 244 and replaced it a "cancellation of removal" provision. To be eligible for cancellation of removal, the alien was required to meet certain time requirements of residing in the U.S. The IIRIRA also contained a new "stop-time" provision, under which an alien's period of residence or continuous physical presence in the U.S. was deemed to end once the alien was served with a "notice to appear" for removal proceedings or committed a criminal offense described in INA § 244A(d)(1). Shortly after the enactment of IIRIRA, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) held that the new "stop-time" rule applied to aliens who had applied for suspension of deportation prior to IIRIRA's enactment. Plaintiffs challenged the BIA's application of the "stop-time" rule as violating the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fifth Amendment.

The District Court (Judge James Lawrence King) certified the case as a class action and issued a TRO order against enforcement of INS policy and against the deportation of class members during the pending action. Tefel v. Reno, 972 F.Supp. 608 (S.D.Fla. 1997). Following a hearing, the Court issued a class-wide preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the stop-time provision of the IIRIRA to pending applications for suspension of deportation. Tefel v. Reno, 972 F.Supp. 623 (S.D.Fla. 1997). The government's motion to dissolve the injunction was denied. Tefel v. Reno, 996 F.Supp. 1 (S.D.Fla. 1998). The government appealed the District Court's orders.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit vacated the District Court's preliminary injunction and remanded the case for further proceedings. Tefel v. Reno, 180 F.3d 1286 (11th Cir.1999). Rehearing en banc was denied. Tefel v. Reno, 198 F.3d 265 (11th Cir. 1999). Certiorari was also denied. Tefel v. Reno, 530 U.S. 1228, 120 S.Ct. 2657, 147 L.Ed.2d 272 (2000).

On remand, the District Court (Patricia A. Seitz) decertified the class and granted summary judgment to all defendants against all plaintiffs, per order dated January 24, 2002. According to the PACER docket, plaintiffs did not appeal the judgment.

Dan Dalton - 01/03/2008

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Deportation - criteria
Deportation - judicial review
Deportation - procedure
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA)
Defendant(s) United States
United States
United States
Plaintiff Description All individuals within the states of GA, AL and FL who have been/will be denied suspension of deportation as a result of the BIA's decision to apply the transitional rule of §309(c)(5) of the IIRIRA retroactively.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Order Duration 1999 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2002
Case Ongoing No
1:97-cv-00210-JLK (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0018-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/12/1997
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:97-cv-00805-PAS (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0018-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/04/2002
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Verified Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-FL-0018-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/02/1997
Order Denying Motion to Dismiss, Certifying Class and Appointing Lead Counsel, Granting Temporary Restraining Order, and Setting Preliminary Injunction Hearing [] (972 F.Supp. 608) (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0018-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/20/1997
Source: Google Scholar
Order Compelling Production of Certain Documents; Finding Privilege Applies to Certain Other Documents [ECF# 80] (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0018-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/10/1997
Order [Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Appeal from Discovery Orders] [ECF# 117] (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0018-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/12/1997
Preliminary Injunction (972 F.Supp. 623) (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0018-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/24/1997
Source: Google Scholar
Order Denying Defendants' Motion to Dissolve Injunction, Motion to Dismiss, and Motion for Summary Judgment (996 F.Supp. 1) (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0018-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/10/1998
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion [Vacating Preliminary Injunction; Remanding Case] (180 F.3d 1286)
IM-FL-0018-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/14/1999
Source: Google Scholar
[Rehearing Denied] (198 F.3d 265)
IM-FL-0018-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/06/1999
[Opinion Denying Certiorari] (530 U.S. 1228)
IM-FL-0018-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/12/2000
Source: Westlaw
Order Granting Defendants' Motion for Decertification of Class and Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 293] (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0018-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/25/2002
Order Denying Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter and Amend this Court's Final Judgment [ECF# 299] (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0018-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/05/2002
Judges Brown, Stephen Thomas (S.D. Fla.)
Hull, Frank M. (N.D. Ga., Eleventh Circuit)
King, James Lawrence (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007 | IM-FL-0018-0009 | IM-FL-0018-9001
Marcus, Stanley (Eleventh Circuit, S.D. Fla.)
Seitz, Patricia A. (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0018-0004 | IM-FL-0018-0005 | IM-FL-0018-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Boyer, Robert L. (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0001 | IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007 | IM-FL-0018-0008 | IM-FL-0018-9000
Carranza, Kari Woodward (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007
Cruz, Esther Olavarria (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0001 | IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007
Kelly, Linda (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007
Kramer, Mary E. (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0001 | IM-FL-0018-0002 | IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007
Kurzban, Ira J. (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0001 | IM-FL-0018-0004 | IM-FL-0018-0005 | IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007 | IM-FL-0018-0008 | IM-FL-0018-0009 | IM-FL-0018-9000
Levin, Oscar (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007
Louis, Mario (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007
Lovo, Mario Martin (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0001 | IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007 | IM-FL-0018-0008 | IM-FL-0018-9000 | IM-FL-0018-9000
Mirabal, Jeannette (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007
Oviedo-Reyes, Alfonso E. (Florida)
Scherker, Elliot H. (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0002 | IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007 | IM-FL-0018-0008 | IM-FL-0018-0009
Sharpless, Rebecca (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0001 | IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007
Tome, Vicente Agustin (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0001 | IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007
Varas, Ernesto (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0001 | IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007
Defendant's Lawyers Amanat, F. Franklin (New York)
IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007
Bernal, David V. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007 | IM-FL-0018-0008 | IM-FL-0018-0009
Friedman, Laura M. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007 | IM-FL-0018-0008
Hunger, Frank W. (District of Columbia)
Jordan, Adalberto Jose (Florida)
Lee, Dexter (Florida)
IM-FL-0018-0002 | IM-FL-0018-0004 | IM-FL-0018-0005 | IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007 | IM-FL-0018-0008 | IM-FL-0018-0009 | IM-FL-0018-9000 | IM-FL-0018-9001
Molina, Ernesto H. Jr. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0018-0004 | IM-FL-0018-0005 | IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007 | IM-FL-0018-0008 | IM-FL-0018-9000
Reyna, Nelda C. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0018-0006 | IM-FL-0018-0007

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