University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey v. Audubon Public School District ED-NJ-0003
Docket / Court L-2208-14 ( State Court )
State/Territory New Jersey
Case Type(s) Education
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
This case is part of an ACLU campaign across the state of New Jersey. Following a DOJ letter stating that all children have equal access to public education, the ACLU sent a letter to 1 ... read more >
This case is part of an ACLU campaign across the state of New Jersey. Following a DOJ letter stating that all children have equal access to public education, the ACLU sent a letter to 136 school districts it had determined to have strict identification requirements for adults to enroll children in school. These policies were against state and federal law, and significantly impacted the children of undocumented immigrants. When eight of the districts failed to change their restrictive policies, ACLU-NJ filed a lawsuit against each of them. The Audubon Public School District was one of those districts.

On May 30, 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) filed this lawsuit in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Camden County, Chancery Division. The ACLU-NJ sued Audubon Public School District under the New Jersey Constitution. The ACLU-NJ claimed violations of the equal protection cause of the 14th Amendment and two sections of the New Jersey Constitution, including its sections on equal protection and thorough and efficient education. The ACLU-NJ sued on behalf of its own interests as a long-time advocate of immigration rights, as well as on behalf of immigrant residents of Audubon. The ACLU-NJ claimed that the school district's registration process unfairly discriminated against the children of undocumented parents by requiring a driver's license.

In Audubon, during the registration of kindergarten and new students, parents were given a list of required documents, several of which are used to prove residency in the township. One of those required documents was a driver's license, which undocumented immigrants were unable to obtain without a social security number or valid immigration paperwork. Without the license, children of these immigrants were unable to attend school, depriving them of their right to education.

On June 9 2014, the parties reached a settlement, although documentation of this settlement is currently unavailable. Both parties stipulated to the dismissal of the case.

In addition to Audubon, each of the other six districts altered their discriminatory practices within a week of being sued by the ACLU-NJ (ACLU-NJ Statement). The suit against Butler School District had already been resolved in March.

The other lawsuits brought by ACLU-NJ are also available in the Clearinghouse: Butler School District, Galloway Township Public Schools, Glouster Township Public School District, North Brunswick Public School District, Old Bridge Township Public School District, Perth Amboy Public School District, and Somerdale Park Public School District.

Carolyn Weltman - 11/22/2015

compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Elementary/Secondary School
Immigration status
Type of Facility
Causes of Action Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
State law
Defendant(s) Audubon Public School District
Plaintiff Description The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization. Founded in 1960, the ACLU-NJ has approximately 12,000 members and donors in New Jersey and tens of thousands of supporters across the state. Its primary office is in Newark, New Jersey. The ACLU-NJ is the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, which was founded in 1920 and is composed of hundreds of thousands of members and supporters nationwide.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing ED-NJ-0002 : American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey v. Butler Public School District (State Court)
ED-NJ-0004 : American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey v. Galloway Township Public Schools (State Court)
ED-NJ-0005 : American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey v. Gloucester Township Public School District (State Court)
ED-NJ-0006 : American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey v. North Brunswick Public School District (State Court)
ED-NJ-0007 : American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey v. Old Bridge Township Public School District (State Court)
ED-NJ-0008 : American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey v. Perth Amboy Public School District (State Court)
ED-NJ-0009 : American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey v. Somerdale Park Public School District (State Court)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Case Studies Courts and Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through the State Courts
By: Michael Rebell (Columbia University, and Campaign for Educational Equity)
Citation: (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Dear Colleague Letter on the Rights of All Children to Enroll in Public Schools 05/08/2014
ED-NJ-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Verified Complaint and Designation of Trial Counsel 05/30/2014
ED-NJ-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source:
Letter Brief in Support of Order to Show Cause with Temporary Restraints 05/30/2014
ED-NJ-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source:
Stipulation of Dismissal 06/09/2014
ED-NJ-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source:
Judges Colalillo, Mary Eva (State Trial Court)
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barocas, Edward (New Jersey)
Shalom, Alexander (New Jersey)
ED-NJ-0003-0001 | ED-NJ-0003-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Cavallo, Frank (New Jersey)
Other Lawyers Rosenfelt, Philip H. (District of Columbia)
Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -