University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Nicacio v. U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service IM-WA-0011
Docket / Court C-82-1018 RJM ( E.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law
Case Summary
In 1984, a class of Hispanic persons brought suit against the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, alleging that its Border Patrol agents engaged in a pattern of unlawful stops to detain and interrogate persons of ... read more >
In 1984, a class of Hispanic persons brought suit against the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, alleging that its Border Patrol agents engaged in a pattern of unlawful stops to detain and interrogate persons of Hispanic appearance traveling on Washington state highways. Plaintiffs, represented by Evergreen Legal Services, alleged that agents regularly conducted roving motor vehicle patrols in search of undocumented aliens in Yakima Valley, an area which had substantial agricultural operations and employed many field laborers. Plaintiffs further alleged that many of the stops were based solely on the driver or occupants' Hispanic appearance. Attorneys with the Evergreen Legal Services, Farm Workers Division represented plaintiffs. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief, monetary damages and class certification.

Following a hearing on the merits of the case, the District Court (Chief Judge Robert J. McNichols) entered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, declaring that the agents' practice of stopping vehicles without a valid search or arrest warrant, or without a particularized reasonable suspicion based on specific articulable facts, was unconstitutional. The Court issued an order requiring INS agents to keep record of each vehicle stop and the stated reasons for it, for a period of three years. Nicacio v. U.S. I.N.S., 595 F.Supp. 19 (E.D.Wash. 1984). The INS appealed.

The Court of Appeals (Circuit Judge Schroeder) affirmed. Nicacio v. U.S. I.N.S., 768 F.2d 1133 (9th Cir. 1985), opinion superseded by Nicacio v. U.S. I.N.S., 797 F.2d 700 (9th Cir. 1985). In its amended opinion, the Appeals Court held that (1) the plaintiff class had standing to bring the suit; (2) Hispanic appearance and work clothing did not constitute reasonable suspicion that persons in a vehicle were undocumented aliens sufficient to justify a motor vehicle stop; and (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in requiring INS to document reasons for vehicle stops.

We have no further information on this case.

Dan Dalton - 12/11/2007

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Border police
Detention - conditions
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Bivens
Defendant(s) U.S. Border Patrol
U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
Plaintiff Description All persons of Mexican, Latin, or Hispanic appearance who have been, are, or will be traveling by motor vehicle on the highways of the State of Washington.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 1984 - 1987
Filing Year 1982
Case Closing Year 1987
Case Ongoing No
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum Decision (595 F.Supp. 19) (E.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0011-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/18/1984
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (768 F.2d 1133)
IM-WA-0011-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/16/1985
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (797 F.2d 700)
IM-WA-0011-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/19/1986
Source: Google Scholar
Order (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0011-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/22/1995
Stipulation of Settlement
IM-WA-0011-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/28/2008
Stipulation and Order of Protection Regarding Privacy Act Information and Information Covered by 8 U.S.C. Section 1255a(c)(5)
IM-WA-0011-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/01/2008
Press Release
IM-WA-0011-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/02/2008
Order of Preliminary Approval of the Class Action Settlement [ECF# 504] (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0011-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/02/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Beezer, Robert R. (Ninth Circuit)
IM-WA-0011-0007 | IM-WA-0011-0008
Goodwin, Alfred Theodore (D. Or., Ninth Circuit)
IM-WA-0011-0007 | IM-WA-0011-0008
McNichols, Robert James (E.D. Wash.)
Robart, James L. (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0011-0002 | IM-WA-0011-0003 | IM-WA-0011-0004
Rothstein, Barbara Jacobs (W.D. Wash.)
Schroeder, Mary Murphy (Ninth Circuit)
IM-WA-0011-0007 | IM-WA-0011-0008
Plaintiff's Lawyers Benjamin, Thomas B. (Washington)
Chandola, Neha (Washington)
Ford, Daniel G. (Washington)
IM-WA-0011-0006 | IM-WA-0011-0007 | IM-WA-0011-0008
Gibbs, Robert H. (Washington)
IM-WA-0011-0001 | IM-WA-0011-0002 | IM-WA-0011-0003 | IM-WA-0011-0004 | IM-WA-0011-0005
HolguĂ­n, Carlos R. (California)
Lara, Victor H. (Washington)
Matsumoto, Mari Lise (Washington)
Pauw, Robert (Washington)
IM-WA-0011-0001 | IM-WA-0011-0002 | IM-WA-0011-0005
Rubin, Michael (California)
Schey, Peter A. (California)
IM-WA-0011-0001 | IM-WA-0011-0002 | IM-WA-0011-0004
Walls, Lori (Washington)
Defendant's Lawyers Beatty, William (Washington)
Filppu, Lauri Steven (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0011-0007 | IM-WA-0011-0008
Golding, Marshall Tamal (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0011-0007 | IM-WA-0011-0008
Gray, Carroll D. (Washington)
Hussey, Thomas W. (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0011-0007 | IM-WA-0011-0008
Lamp, John (Washington)
Norwood, Anthony W. (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0011-0002 | IM-WA-0011-0003 | IM-WA-0011-0004

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