On December 4, 2007, lawful permanent residents whose naturalization applications were not timely processed filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the United States ...
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On December 4, 2007, lawful permanent residents whose naturalization applications were not timely processed filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS"). Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that the new regulatory requirement that the FBI name check every application had caused lengthy delays in adjudication of naturalization applications.
Plaintiffs were represented by attorneys from the National Immigration Law Center and the ACLU of Southern California as well as attorneys from the firm Munger Tolles & Olson. Plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief as well as class certification.
Plaintiffs claimed that defendants' failure to complete the adjudication of their applications violated the timeliness requirements of the APA. Plaintiffs who had completed their naturalization interviews alleged that defendants had violated 8 U.S.C. § 1447(b) by failing to adjudicate the applications within 120 days of the date of the examinations. Plaintiffs also raised due process claims, alleging that defendants had violated their rights with a pattern, practice and policy of failing to timely complete FBI name checks and failing to make a final judgment on the application. Finally, plaintiffs claimed that defendants violated the notice-and-comment requirements of the APA because defendants' 2002 expansion of the FBI name check constituted a "rule" within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. § 551(4), but they did not provide a notice-and-comment period prior to implementing the rule.
On November 6, 2009, the court (Judge David O. Carter) approved the parties' settlement agreement. The settlement applied to certain naturalization applicants who applied within USCIS District 23 (including Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and San Bernadino Field Offices), who have had an interview, and whose application remains pending for more than 180 days due to the noncompletion of the FBI name check. The settlement required the government to adjudicate seventy percent of the applications within ninety days and ninety percent of the applications within 180 days. The agreement also provided for three sets of limited reports by USCIS to plaintiffs' counsel regarding the status of the naturalization applications.
On October 5, 2010, the court dismissed the case with prejudice in accordance with the settlement agreement where the parties had completed all obligations imposed by the agreement.Jennifer Bronson - 10/28/2013