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Case Name Lyon v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement IM-CA-0075
Docket / Court 3:13-cv-05878-PSG ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Post-WalMart decisions on class certification
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National Prison Project
ACLU of Northern California
Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law
Case Summary
On December 19, 2013, four immigration detainees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California under 28 U.S.C. § 2201 against ICE and the Department of Homeland Security. The plaintiffs, ... read more >
On December 19, 2013, four immigration detainees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California under 28 U.S.C. § 2201 against ICE and the Department of Homeland Security. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU and private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that ICE violated the plaintiffs’ rights under the First and Fifth Amendments and the Immigration and Nationality Act. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that ICE restricted their access to telephones, contrary to the agency’s National Detention Standards, thereby denying or severely limiting the plaintiffs’ statutory and constitutional rights to retain counsel, to communicate with retained counsel, to gather and present evidence, to obtain a fair hearing, to apply for immigration benefits, and to petition for documents that might help them avoid deportation.

The plaintiffs were in ICE custody pending deportation proceedings. Most detainees were geographically isolated from family, courts, and attorneys. As a result, telephone access was critical. Many detainees would qualify for one or more of the several forms of “relief from removal,” but because of ICE policies restricting telephone access many plaintiffs were unnecessarily detained for months. Many were forced to seek multiple continuances while they attempted to gather information and documents to contest their deportation. Others would accept deportation much earlier if they were able to obtain legal consultation over the telephone.

The following are examples of the practices restricting telephone access, some of which violated ICE’s own detention standards: Detainees are confined for up to 22 hours a day and are permitted to make calls only during inconsistently scheduled “free time,” which is often early in the morning or at night. Detainees have no privacy when using telephones. Phone calls from the facilities are prohibitively expensive, especially for indigent detainees. Detainees are completely unable to receive incoming calls. Telephone systems in the facilities disconnect after 15 minutes, or if a recorded greeting begins to play (including voicemail or automated systems requiring the selection of options to reach a live person). Although ICE policy requires that detainees have access to a free-call platform for contacting nonprofit legal services, that platform is often unavailable and usually ineffectual.

On April 16, 2014, the district court (Judge Edward M. Chen) granted the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. 300 F.R.D. 628. Then, on April 28, 2014, the court referred the case to Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu for settlement negotiations.

Settlement discussions went on for over two years. During that time, the court approved an expansion of the plaintiff class on July 27, 2015. 308 F.R.D. 203. That expansion included detainees at newly-constructed detention facilities in California. The plaintiffs filed a supplemental complaint on August 27, 2015, which included allegations against telephone policies in the new facilities.

On March 18, 2016, the court ruled that the detainees had no Sixth Amendment right to counsel, and that the telephone policies did not violate the plaintiffs’ statutory rights to counsel. 171 F. Supp. 3d 961. However, the court allowed the due process and First Amendment claims to proceed.

On July 1, 2016, the court granted preliminary approval of the parties’ settlement agreement; on November 18, 2016, the court approved the settlement agreement and awarded attorneys’ fees in the amount of $405,000.

With this class-action settlement, restrictions on the detainees’ use of telephones were lifted such that they could make outgoing calls and ultimately obtain legal assistance. The terms of the preliminary settlement agreement included the following:
  1. Adding free and private numbers to housing unit telephones, eliminating automatic telephone cutoffs of 20 minutes, and extending cutoff times to 40 or 60 minutes,
  2. Adding 40 phone booths and additional phone rooms in housing units to facilitate privacy,
  3. Provisions ensuring timely access to phones and messages such as providing facilitators to process phone requests, and
  4. Provisions for implementation of and compliance with the agreement.
On April 23, 2019, the parties filed a proposed order to extend certain terms of the settlement agreement. The court granted this order on the same day. The parties filed another proposed order to amend the settlement agreement on December 13, 2019, which the court again granted the same day. The proposed orders can be found in the Documents for this case on the Clearinghouse website.

The parties held a mediation conference with Magistrate Judge Ryu on March 24, 2020. Subsequently, they filed another proposed order on April 1, 2020, which was granted on the same day by the magistrate judge.

The case is ongoing.

Nadji Allan - 09/25/2014
Virginia Weeks - 08/01/2017
Edward Cullen - 03/15/2019
Bogyung Lim - 07/29/2020


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Assistance of counsel (6th Amendment)
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Conditions of confinement
Phone
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Deportation - procedure
Detention - procedures
Immigration lawyers
Language
Spanish
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description Four individual plaintiffs in ICE custody at four different facilities in California, and a class of “all current and future adult immigration detainees who are or will be held by ICE in Contra Costa County, Sacramento County, or Yuba County.”
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National Prison Project
ACLU of Northern California
Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under 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 Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2017 - 2022
Filed 12/19/2013
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Lyon v. ICE (Telephone Access for Immigration Detainees)
https://www.aclunc.org/
Date: Apr. 23, 2019
By: ACLU of Northern California
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:13-cv-05878-PSG (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0075-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0075-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/19/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 31] (2014 WL 1493846) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0075-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/16/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order re. Notice and Access to Class [ECF# 40] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0075-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/04/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Supplemental Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 99]
IM-CA-0075-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/27/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment; and Denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 167] (171 F.Supp.3d 961) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0075-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/18/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Unopposed Notice of Motion and Motion for (1) Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement (2) Order Directing Notice to the Class and (3) Order Scheduling a Fairness Hearing [ECF# 262]
IM-CA-0075-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/13/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement and Release [ECF# 262-2 ]
IM-CA-0075-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/13/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement [ECF# 286] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0075-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/18/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Award of Attorneys' Fees [ECF# 287] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0075-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/18/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Stipulation and [Proposed] Order Extending Settlement Agreement [ECF# 292]
IM-CA-0075-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/23/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and [Proposed] Order Regarding December 5, 2019 Mediation [ECF# 308]
IM-CA-0075-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/13/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and [Proposed] Order Regarding March 24, 2020 Mediation [ECF# 315]
IM-CA-0075-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/01/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Chen, Edward Milton (N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0002 | IM-CA-0075-0003 | IM-CA-0075-0006 | IM-CA-0075-0007 | IM-CA-0075-0012 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Ryu, Donna Miae Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brown, Emily K. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-9000
Cho, Eunice (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-9000
Cruz, Chris (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0009
Ha, Charles J. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0004 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Higgins, Trish M. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-9000
Holmes, Jazmin (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0009
Kasibhatla, Jaya N. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-9000
Keenan, David (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0004 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Kugizaki, Matthew R. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0004
Kwan, Judy (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0004
Leong, Shanon Christine (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-9000
Louie, Christine Melissa (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-9000
Mass, Julia Harumi (California) show/hide docs
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Reyzis, Yekaterina L (California) show/hide docs
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Riordan, Sean Connor (California) show/hide docs
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Risher , Michael Temple (California) show/hide docs
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Salceda, Angelica H. (California) show/hide docs
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Sallomi, Megan (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0004 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Scott, M. Todd (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0001
Siebens, Christopher Joseph (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Smith, Christine Melissa (California) show/hide docs
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Sun, Christine Patricia (California) show/hide docs
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Takei, Carl (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Talarides, Alexander K. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0001
VanDerHout, Marc (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0008 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Varian, Robert P. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0001 | IM-CA-0075-0003 | IM-CA-0075-0004 | IM-CA-0075-0005 | IM-CA-0075-0008 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Wetmore, Derek Evan (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0009 | IM-CA-0075-0010 | IM-CA-0075-0011 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Winawer, Ariel Brianna (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0009 | IM-CA-0075-0010 | IM-CA-0075-0011 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Yee-Garcia, Alexis (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0004 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Zhao, Jingni (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0001 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bingham, Lauren Crowell (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0009 | IM-CA-0075-0010 | IM-CA-0075-0011 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Bowen, Jennifer A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0003 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Delery, Stuart F. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0003
Hunt, Joseph H. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0009
Kisor, Colin A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0003 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Mercado-Santana, Victor M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-9000
Peachey, William Charles (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0009
Sampat, Dhruman Y. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Shinners, Katherine J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Smith, Katherine Ann (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Stevens, Elizabeth Jones (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0003 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Ward, Brian Christopher (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Westwater, Gisela Ann (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-0009
Other Lawyers Herrington, Robert J. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0075-9000

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