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Case Name Arpaio v. Obama IM-DC-0023
Docket / Court 1:14-cv-01966-BAH ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
On November 20, 2014, Joe Arpaio, the Sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, filed this lawsuit in the D.C. District Court against President Obama, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the U.S. Attorney General ... read more >
On November 20, 2014, Joe Arpaio, the Sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, filed this lawsuit in the D.C. District Court against President Obama, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the U.S. Attorney General. Sheriff Arpaio sued under the Declaratory Judgment Act(28 U.S.C. § 2201) and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff claimed that two federal programs constituted unconstitutional abuses of the President's power:

1) The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program started on June 15, 2012; and
2) Several additional programs-- referred to by the plaintiff as Executive Order Amnesty (EOA) programs-- started on November 20, 2014

DACA allowed some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit in the U.S. EOA extended DACA to defer action for childhood arrivals who arrived after the earliest cut-off date and for parents and other relatives of U.S. citizens or persons lawfully present.

Specifically, Sheriff Arpaio claimed that the challenged programs constituted a dramatic departure from prior interpretation and application of existing law and regulations and that the President cannot effect these changes by Executive Order. Plaintiff also argued that even if the Court deemed these dramatic changes constitutional, the challenged programs should have gone through notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures under the APA. Alternatively, Plaintiff challenged these actions pursuant to the APA as unlawful and invalid as arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, unreasonable, and/or otherwise not in accordance with law.

On December 4, 2014, Plaintiff sought a Preliminary Injunction and filed a brief, which the court construed as a motion to dismiss. On December 23, 2014, District Judge Beryl A. Howell denied the preliminary injunction and dismissed the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Judge Howell found that the plaintiff did not suffer a legally cognizable injury, and thus held that the Plaintiff lacked standing. Sheriff Arpaio, the Court explained, did not suffer injury in fact in his personal capacity because he sought to vindicate only a general interest in proper application of Constitution and laws. Although he alleged that undocumented immigrants had targeted him for assassination as a result of his stance on illegal immigration, neither of the challenged programs threatened the sheriff's life; in fact, his stance on illegal immigration existed prior to this case and the challenged programs. In addition, Sheriff Arpaio did not suffer injury in fact in his official capacity because he was asserting generalized grievances against federal policy and alleged injuries were largely speculative. The plaintiff also failed to show causation because neither challenged program authorized the conduct of which he complained. Arpaio v. Obama, 27 F.Supp.3d 185 (D.D.C. 2014).

On December 29, 2014, Plaintiff appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court. On August 14, 2015, the D.C. Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court in an opinion by Judge Cornelia T.L. Pillard. This ended the case.

Frances Hollander - 11/01/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
General
Government Services (specify)
Immigration/Border
Deportation - procedure
Status/Classification
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Work authorization - criteria
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
President of the United States
U.S. Attorney General
Plaintiff Description Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filing Year 2014
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
14-5325 (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0023-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/03/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Civil Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-DC-0023-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/20/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice [ECF# 15]
IM-DC-0023-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/17/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 23] (27 F.Supp.3d 185) (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0023-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/23/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion for the Court Filed by Circuit Judge Pillard Concurring Opinion Filed by Circuit Judge Brown [Ct. of App. ECF# 1567834 ] (797 F.3d 11)
IM-DC-0023-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/14/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Brown, Janice Rogers (D.C. Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0023-0001
Howell, Beryl Alaine (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0023-0004 | IM-DC-0023-9000
Pillard, Cornelia Thayer Livingston (D.D.C., D.C. Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0023-0001
Srinivasan, Srikanth (D.C. Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0023-0001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Klayman, Larry (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0023-0002 | IM-DC-0023-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bladuell, Hector G. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0023-0003
Branda, Joyce R. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0023-0003
Cohen, Bradley H. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0023-0003
Freeny, Kyle Renee (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0023-0003
Hartnett, Kathleen R. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0023-0003 | IM-DC-0023-9000
Kelleher, Diane (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0023-0003
Kirschner, Adam D. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0023-0003 | IM-DC-0023-9000
Saltman, Julie Shana (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0023-0003

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