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Case Name Polovchak v. Meese IM-IL-0014
Docket / Court 80-5595 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
In 1980, Russian parents of a minor child who was granted asylum by the U.S. filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, claiming that grant of asylum to their child was in violation of their due process rights. The parents sought an order vacating the ... read more >
In 1980, Russian parents of a minor child who was granted asylum by the U.S. filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, claiming that grant of asylum to their child was in violation of their due process rights. The parents sought an order vacating the grant of asylum.

The plaintiff parents came to the U.S. from Russia in 1980 with their three children. They decided to return, but two of the children decided to stay with relatives. The parents resisted the younger child Walter's decision to stay and litigation ensued.

Walter became a ward of the state and was removed from his parents' custody by the state trial court. In December 1981, the Illinois Appellate Court reversed the decision of the trial court. In re Polovchak ( Illinois v. Polovchak), 104 Ill.App.3d 203, 59 Ill.Dec. 929, 432 N.E.2d 873 (1981). The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. In re Polovchak, 97 Ill.2d 212, 73 Ill.Dec. 398, 454 N.E.2d 258 (1983), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 104 S.Ct. 1413, 79 L.Ed.2d 740 (1984).

In the interim, the parents returned to Russia.

In the federal case, on July 17, 1985, the District Court (Judge Thomas R. McMillen) entered summary judgment in favor of the parents, finding that the parents were deprived of their due process rights when the INS granted asylum to their minor child without giving them notice and a hearing. The District Court also entered an injunction prohibiting the enforcement of an INS "departure control order" prohibiting the son's return to the Soviet Union. Polovchak v. Landon, 614 F.Supp. 900 (N.D.Ill. 1985). The government appealed. The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Circuit Judge Cudahy) agreed that the parents were deprived of due process, but vacated the District Court's injunction since it did not take into account the rights of the minor child. Polovchak v. Meese, 774 F.2d 731 (7th Cir. 1985). The minor turned 18 years old shortly after the appellate opinion was issued.

We have no further information on this case.

Dan Dalton - 12/22/2007

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Free Exercise Clause
Asylum - criteria
Asylum - procedure
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens
Defendant(s) Immigration and Naturalization Service
United States Attorney General
Plaintiff Description Russian parents of minor child who was granted asylum by the U.S.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 1980
Case Closing Year 1985
Case Ongoing No
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion (432 N.E.2d 873)
IM-IL-0014-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/23/1982
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (454 N.E.2d 258)
IM-IL-0014-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/30/1983
Source: Google Scholar
Order Denying Petition for Writ of Certiorari (465 U.S. 1065)
IM-IL-0014-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/27/1984
Source: Westlaw
USCA Order (734 F.2d 18)
IM-IL-0014-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/05/1984
Decision (1984 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 24601) (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0014-0007.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/02/1984
Source: LexisNexis
Decision (1984 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 20922) (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0014-0008.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/27/1984
Source: LexisNexis
Decision (614 F.Supp. 900) (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0014-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/17/1985
Source: Google Scholar
USCA Opinion (774 F.2d 731)
IM-IL-0014-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/09/1985
Source: Google Scholar
show all people docs
Judges Cudahy, Richard Dickson (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
McGillicuddy, Helen F. (State Appellate Court) show/hide docs
McMillen, Thomas Roberts (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0014-0001 | IM-IL-0014-0007 | IM-IL-0014-0008
Posner, Richard Allen (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
Swygert, Luther Merritt (N.D. Ind., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
Underwood, Mell Gilbert (S.D. Ohio) show/hide docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Geraghty, Diane (Illinois) show/hide docs
Grossman, Harvey (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0014-0001 | IM-IL-0014-0002 | IM-IL-0014-0003 | IM-IL-0014-0004
Lubet, Steven (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0014-0003 | IM-IL-0014-0004
Defendant's Lawyers Bombaugh, Robert L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
Branding, Frederick H. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Cherry, Joan S. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Daley, Richard M. (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0014-0003 | IM-IL-0014-0004
Fahner, Tyrone C. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Filppu, Lauri Steven (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
Golding, Marshall Tamal (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
Kuhl, Carolyn (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
Needles, Nancy K. (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0014-0001 | IM-IL-0014-0004
Shabat, Michael E. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Sweeney, Kevin (Illinois) show/hide docs
Webb, Dan K. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Other Lawyers Holzer, Henry Mark (New York) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0014-0003 | IM-IL-0014-0004
Kulas, Julian E. (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0014-0002 | IM-IL-0014-0003 | IM-IL-0014-0004

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