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Case Name Jane Doe #1 v. Rich Hobson IM-AL-0008
Docket / Court 2:13-cv-00079-WKW-CSC ( M.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
National Immigration Law Center
Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On February 7, 2013, four immigrants born in Mexico with prior arrests for alleged violations of an Alabama state law prohibiting fishing without a license filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. The plaintiffs sued the Alabama Department of ... read more >
On February 7, 2013, four immigrants born in Mexico with prior arrests for alleged violations of an Alabama state law prohibiting fishing without a license filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. The plaintiffs sued the Alabama Department of Homeland Security ("ADHS") and Alabama's Administrative Office of the Court ("AOC") under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU, SPLC, NILC, and private counsel, challenged enforcement of HB 658 § 5, which required the AOC to compile the names and identifying information of undocumented immigrants who had been detained for any violation of state law and ADHS to post that information for the public on its website. They sought a declaratory judgment that the enforcement of HB 658 § 5 violated the Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution and the Due Process Clause of Amendment XIV of the U.S. Constitution and to enjoin the defendants from enforcing HB 658 § 5.

Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that Section 5 of H.B. 658 Act No. 2012-491, which is codified as Ala. Code § 31-13-32, was preempted by federal law in violation of the Supremacy Clause, and also violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Section 5 of HB 658 required the AOC to compile, and the ADHS post on its public website, the names and other identifying information of "unlawfully present alien[s]" who were detained for any violation of state law and who then appeared in a state court. The four plaintiffs feared that their prior arrests and scheduled appearance in court for fishing without a license would enable the defendants to publicize their names on this list that would result in various consequences such as the denial of bail, denial of employment opportunities, and a significant loss of privacy.

The proposed class certification was: "All persons who are or will be subject to Section 5 of HB 658, Ala. Code § 31-13-32".

On February 8, 2013, the case was reassigned from District Court Judge W. Harold Albritton, III to U.S. District Judge William Keith Watkins. The case was referred to Magistrate Judge Charles S. Coody.

On July 31, 2013, the defendants' motion to dismiss was granted by Judge Watkins. The court identified the following impediments to the plaintiffs’ standing: (1) the plaintiffs failed to allege that they were "unlawfully present aliens" subject to the consequences prescribed by Ala. Code § 31-13-32, the state law which they challenged as unconstitutional; and (2) the plaintiffs failed to allege that they were "unlawfully present aliens" at the crucial times identified by the law – i.e., when they were detained by law enforcement and when they appeared in court for a violation of state law. Without asserting they were unlawfully present aliens, the plaintiffs could not show that they faced the threat of imminent injury. The court afforded the plaintiffs leave to amend their complaint to cure these impediments to standing. The plaintiffs did not amend their complaint, but filed a motion requesting that the court reconsider and vacate its July 31, 2013 opinion and order.

On January 6, 2014, the motion for reconsideration was granted and the order of July 31, 2013 was vacated as the plaintiffs should not have been required to plead that they were in fact "unlawfully present aliens."

On May 4, 2014, Judge Watkins granted the defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of standing because the plaintiffs failed to allege that they were unlawfully present aliens. The plaintiffs requested reconsideration of that ruling. The court granted the plaintiffs' motion to reconsider, reinstated the previously pending motions, and directed the parties to submit supplemental briefing.

On May 20, 2014, Judge Watkins granted the plaintiffs' request to withhold their identities from the public but not from the defendants.

On July 3, 2014, Judge Watkins denied the class certification without prejudice with leave to refile on or before September 5, 2014.

The parties began mediation proceedings on September 11, 2014, and they eventually reached a private settlement agreement. Under the settlement, the AOC agreed not to forward information it collected under § 31-13-32 to other government agencies except the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency; in turn, the Agency promised not to publish the § 31-13-32 information it received from the AOC. On October 10, 2014, the judge dismissed the case but retained jurisdiction to enforce the settlement's terms.

The agreement was to be in effect for 5 years (from October 2014 until October 2019), and there has been no further activity on the docket since October 2014. Because the agreement expired in 2019, the case is presumably now closed.

Tania Morris Diaz - 10/16/2014
Joanna Kuzdra - 02/01/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Supremacy Clause
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
General
Confidentiality
Government Services (specify)
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Criminal prosecution
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Alabama Department of Homeland Security
Alabama's Administrative Office of the Court
Plaintiff Description Four immigrants born in Mexico with prior arrests for alleged violation of an Alabama state law prohibiting fishing without a license.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
National Immigration Law Center
Southern Poverty Law Center
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Conditional Dismissal
Order Duration 2014 - 2019
Filed 02/07/2013
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
2:13−cv−00079 (M.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/14/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-AL-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/07/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Vacated Memorandum and Order Granting Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 38] (M.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0008-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/31/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order Granting Reconsideration of Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 43] (M.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0008-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/06/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order Regarding Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 49] (M.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0008-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/02/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order in Regard to Pseudonym (M.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0008-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/20/2014
Source: Bloomberg Law
Order Denying Class Certification [ECF# 59] (M.D. Ala.)
IM-AL-0008-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/03/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement [ECF# 67-1]
IM-AL-0008-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/10/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Coody, Charles S. (M.D. Ala.) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-0001 | IM-AL-0008-9000
Watkins, William Keith (M.D. Ala.) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-0002 | IM-AL-0008-0003 | IM-AL-0008-0004 | IM-AL-0008-0005 | IM-AL-0008-0006 | IM-AL-0008-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brooke, Samuel (Alabama) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-0007 | IM-AL-0008-9000
Cox, Justin Bryan (Georgia) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-0007 | IM-AL-0008-9000
Graunke, Kristi L. (Georgia) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-9000
Jadwat, Omar C. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-9000
Joaquin, Linton (California) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-9000
Marshall, Randall C (Florida) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-0007 | IM-AL-0008-9000
Preciado, Nora (California) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-9000
Rubio, Sigfredo (Alabama) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-9000
Tumlin, Karen C. (California) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-0007 | IM-AL-0008-9000
Wang, Cecillia D (California) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davis, James William (Alabama) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-9000
Fleming, Margaret L. (Alabama) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-9000
Howell, Laura Elizabeth (Alabama) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-9000
Parker, William G. Jr. (Alabama) show/hide docs
IM-AL-0008-9000

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