University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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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
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National Prison Project
ACLU of Northern California
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 private and ACLU attorneys, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that defendants violated plaintiffs' rights under the First and Fifth Amendments and the Immigration and Nationality Act. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that defendants restricted the plaintiffs' access to telephones contrary to ICE'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 may help them avoid deportation.

Plaintiffs were in ICE custody pending deportation proceedings. Most detainees are geographically isolated from family, courts, and attorneys. As a result, telephone access is critical. Many detainees would be able to use one or more of the several forms of "relief from removal," but because of ICE policies restricting telephone access many plaintiffs are unnecessarily detained for months. Many are forced to seek multiple continuances while they attempt 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 and 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 plaintiffs' motion for class certification. 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 which time the plaintiffs filed a supplemental complaint on August 27, 2015. On July 1, 2016, the court granted preliminary approval of the parties' settlement agreement, with final approval pending a fairness hearing currently scheduled for November 2016.

With this class action settlement, the restrictions on 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 while 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. The agreement also provided for attorneys' fees in the amount of $405,000.

On November 18, 2016, the court approved the settlement agreement and attorneys' fees. As the court retains jurisdiction to enforce the settlement agreement, the case is not closed at this time.

Nadji Allan - 09/25/2014
Virginia Weeks - 08/01/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Defendant-type
Corrections
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Conditions of confinement
Phone
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Detention - procedures
Language
Spanish
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Bivens
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
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 the 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
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Conditional Dismissal
Order Duration 2017 - 2022
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  SUMMARY:The Nationwide Perez-Fuñez Permanent Injunction Provisions for Unaccompanied Children in DHS Custody
www.nilc.org
Date: June 2014
By: National Immigration Law Center (National Immigration Law Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:13-cv-05878-PSG (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0075-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/02/2016
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]
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]
Judges Chen, Edward Milton (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0075-0002 | IM-CA-0075-0003 | IM-CA-0075-0006 | IM-CA-0075-0007 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Ryu, Donna Miae Court not on record [Magistrate]
IM-CA-0075-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brown, Emily K. (California)
IM-CA-0075-9000
Ha, Charles J. (California)
IM-CA-0075-0004 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Higgins, Trish M. (California)
IM-CA-0075-9000
Kasibhatla, Jaya N. (New York)
IM-CA-0075-9000
Keenan, David (California)
IM-CA-0075-0004 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Kugizaki, Matthew R. (California)
IM-CA-0075-0004
Kwan, Judy (California)
IM-CA-0075-0004
Leong, Shanon Christine (California)
IM-CA-0075-9000
Louie, Christine Melissa (California)
IM-CA-0075-9000
Mass, Julia Harumi (California)
IM-CA-0075-0001 | IM-CA-0075-0003 | IM-CA-0075-0004 | IM-CA-0075-0008 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Risher , Michael Temple (California)
IM-CA-0075-0001 | IM-CA-0075-0004 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Salceda, Angelica H. (California)
IM-CA-0075-9000
Sallomi, Megan (California)
IM-CA-0075-0004 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Scott, M. Todd (California)
IM-CA-0075-0001
Siebens, Christopher Joseph (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0075-9000
Smith, Christine Melissa (California)
IM-CA-0075-9000
Sun, Christine Patricia (California)
IM-CA-0075-9000
Takei, Carl (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0075-0003 | IM-CA-0075-0004 | IM-CA-0075-0008 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Talarides, Alexander K. (California)
IM-CA-0075-0001
VanDerHout, Marc (California)
IM-CA-0075-0008 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Varian, Robert P. (California)
IM-CA-0075-0001 | IM-CA-0075-0003 | IM-CA-0075-0004 | IM-CA-0075-0005 | IM-CA-0075-0008 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Ward, Brian Christopher (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0075-9000 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Yee-Garcia, Alexis (California)
IM-CA-0075-0004 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Zhao, Jingni (California)
IM-CA-0075-0001 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bingham, Lauren Crowell (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0075-9000
Bowen, Jennifer A. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0075-0003 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Delery, Stuart F. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0075-0003
Kisor, Colin A. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0075-0003 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Mercado-Santana, Victor M. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0075-9000
Shinners, Katherine J. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0075-0008 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Smith, Katherine Ann (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0075-9000
Stevens, Elizabeth Jones (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0075-0003 | IM-CA-0075-9000
Other Lawyers Herrington, Robert J. (California)
IM-CA-0075-9000

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