On July 2, 2007, plaintiffs who had voluntarily dismissed their claims in a prior lawsuit styled Zhang v. Gonzales [IM-CA-0055
of this collection] refiled their claims in a new case in the U.S. District Court California Northern District. The refiled case was styled Ahmadi v. Chertoff, 07-3455-WHA. Plaintiffs filed a first amended complaint on August 10, 2007.
The Ahamdi amended complaint alleged that plaintiffs were all long-time lawful permanent residents of the United States whose naturalization applications had been pending for over two years with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS"), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, awaiting the results of an "FBI name check." Plaintiffs asserted that the unreasonable delays caused by the FBI name check process violated the Administrative Procedures Act and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Plaintiffs sought a judicial determination of naturalization applications pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1447(b), as well as other declaratory and injunctive relief. Attorneys with the Asian Law Caucus, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation Immigrants Rights Project, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, Inc. and the Council on American-Islamic Relations represented the plaintiffs.
Several of the plaintiffs subsequently dismissed their claims because their naturalization applications had been accepted or their FBI name checks were finally completed.
The U.S. denied the plaintiffs' allegations and moved to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. Plaintiffs moved for class certification on September 5, 2007. Ruling on that motion was deferred until the Court ruled on the government's motions to dismiss.
On October 15, 2007, the District Court (Judge William H. Alsup) granted in part and denied in part the government's motion to dismiss. The Court refused to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction, but dismissed plaintiffs' claims under the Administrative Procedure Act and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment for failure to state a claim. Ahmadi v. Chertoff, 2007 WL 3022573 (N.D.Cal. Oct. 15, 2007).
In April 2008, the court granted the Plaintiffs permission to file a Third Amended Complaint, and denied class action status. On July 20, 2008, in response to Third Amended Complaint and upon Plaintiffs' motion, relief was granted in the form an Order for Voluntary Dismissal, Remand, and Dismissal of Claims. USCIS had failed to adjudicate Plaintiffs' applications with the 120-day time line, which, the Court found, began to run after their naturalization interviews, contrary to the government's contention that the 120 window for adjudication did not being until after the name-check was completed. One Plaintiff was dismissed as his claim had become moot, his application was accepted, and dismissal was necessary for him to take his oath of citizenship. Remand, the effective remedy, was granted to two Plaintiffs to USCIS for instructions do adjudicate their applications within the 120 day limit. The case was to remain open until such action was certified to the court, and required to be done so by August 18, 2008. Their applications were accepted the next day. Claims regarding the APA and a writ of mandamus compelling completion of background checks were dismissed as moot per Plaintiff's argument. The case was closed on August 4, 2008, after certification of adjudication of Plaintiffs' applications.Dan Dalton - 11/06/2007
Carlos Torres - 06/24/2013