University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Baby Doe v. Piehota NS-VA-0006
Docket / Court 1:16-cv-00373 ( E.D. Va. )
State/Territory Virginia
Case Type(s) National Security
Case Summary
On April 5, 2016, nineteen American Muslim individuals listed in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's ("FBI") Terrorist Screening Database filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS"), the FBI, ... read more >
On April 5, 2016, nineteen American Muslim individuals listed in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's ("FBI") Terrorist Screening Database filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS"), the FBI, the Transportation Security Administration ("TSA"), and the Terrorist Screening Center ("TSC").

The complaint claimed that the defendants' terrorist screening database unfairly included individuals based on mere guesses, hunches, conjecture, and even simply based on matters of race and ethnicity. The plaintiffs alleged that such watch list disproportionately represented and affected Muslims: the listed individual was no longer permitted to fly, obtain licenses, and own a firearm, and was also subjected to stigmatization. Moreover, the complaint alleged that individuals on the watchlist were unable to challenge the basis for their inclusion, which violated the U.S. Constitution and individual's rights to Due Process. The plaintiffs sought compensatory damages and the case was assigned to U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris and referred to the Magistrate Judge Michael S. Nachmanoff.

On August 2016, the plaintiffs amended its complaint to request a jury demand all the defendants. The plaintiffs also sought to conduct a discovery to identify unknown defendants, which Magistrate Judge Nachmanoff denied during the motions hearing held on August 12, 2016. On September 2, 2016, fourteen out of fifteen defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim as well as a partial summary judgment, and the remaining defendant later filed a motion to join the claim. As of February 2017, the motion to dismiss and partial summary judgment is pending.

On October 18, 2016, the court ordered both parties to submit briefs of their respective positions on whether this case should be stayed pending the Supreme Court's decision in Turkmen (IM-NY-0007 in this Clearinghouse). Defendants sought to continue with the process and not stay this case while the plaintiffs argued otherwise.

On November 1, 2016, Judge Cacheris ordered to stay the case and scheduled a conference for April 20, 2017. The case is ongoing.

MJ Koo - 02/16/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Right to travel
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Racial profiling
Record-keeping
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
National Origin/Ethnicity
Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Bivens
Defendant(s) Christopher M. Piehota
Plaintiff Description The plaintiffs are nineteen Muslim individuals listed on the FBI's Terrorist Screening Database
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-NY-0007 : Turkmen v. Ashcroft (E.D.N.Y.)
Docket(s)
1:16-cv-373 (E.D. Va.)
NS-VA-0006-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/01/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
NS-VA-0006-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/05/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Class Action Complaint and Jury Demand [ECF# 17]
NS-VA-0006-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/09/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 49] (E.D. Va.)
NS-VA-0006-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/01/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Cacheris, James Chris (FISC, E.D. Va.)
NS-VA-0006-0003 | NS-VA-0006-9000
Nachmanoff, Michael S. Court not on record [Magistrate]
NS-VA-0006-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abbas, Gadeir Ibrahim (District of Columbia)
NS-VA-0006-0001 | NS-VA-0006-0002 | NS-VA-0006-9000
Akeel, Shereef H (Michigan)
NS-VA-0006-0002
Masri, Lena F (Michigan)
NS-VA-0006-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Sher, R. Joseph (District of Columbia)
NS-VA-0006-9000

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