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Case Name Puente Arizona v. Arpaio IM-AZ-0022
Docket / Court 2:14-cv-01356-DGC ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
Case Summary
On June 18, 2014, Puente Arizona, an immigrant advocacy organization, along with two undocumented workers from the state of Arizona and a minister, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The plaintiffs sued the state of Arizona under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ... read more >
On June 18, 2014, Puente Arizona, an immigrant advocacy organization, along with two undocumented workers from the state of Arizona and a minister, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The plaintiffs sued the state of Arizona under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Represented by private counsel, the ACLU of Arizona, the immigrant rights clinic of U.C. Irvine Law School, and the National Day Labor Organizing Network (NDLON), plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent further unconstitutional arrests and prosecutions, attorney’s fees as well as costs of suit, and the expungement of records for the two plaintiffs who, they alleged, had been improperly convicted. The plaintiffs challenged certain provisions of Arizona’s identity theft laws, which prohibit using a false identity to gain employment.

The plaintiffs claimed that the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause mandates that federal law preempts that state law, because employment of immigrants is an area over which Congress has reserved exclusive authority.

Arizona amended its identity theft laws to combat the “growing problem” of employment-related identity theft. H.B. 2779, also called the “Legal Arizona Workers Act” (“LAWA”), amended Arizona’s “aggravated identity theft” statute, A.R.S. § 13-2009. It defined aggravated identity theft as the use of information of any another person, real or fictitious person, with the intent of obtaining employment. H.B. 2745, titled “Employment of Unauthorized Aliens” (“EUA”), supplemented the Legal Arizona Workers Act by defining the offense of identity theft to include use of another’s information, real or fictitious, “with the intent to obtain or continue employment.” The bill specifically made this type of forgery, targeted at undocumented workers, a Class 3 felony, punishable by up to 7 years. These bills were passed, at least in part, in order to solve Arizona’s “illegal immigration problem.”

The plaintiffs claimed that in enacting Section 1 of LAWA and Section 1 of EUA (“Section 1s”), Arizona impermissibly intruded on the federal government’s exclusive authority to regulate immigration, legislated in a field occupied by the federal government and imposed unauthorized burdens and penalties on noncitizens, all in violation of the Supremacy Clause. The plaintiffs claimed that Arizona’s worker identity provisions were therefore facially preempted and the defendants could not enforce them. The plaintiffs further claimed that Section 1s constitute impermissible discrimination against noncitizens on the basis of alienage, in violation of the federal Constitution's Equal Protection clause.

The two undocumented plaintiffs in this case claimed to be personally affected by these laws. The plaintiffs, neither of whom had ever previously been charged with or convicted of a crime, were arrested at their respective places of employment by Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (“MCSO”) deputies. Both were charged with using a false identity to work. Both plaintiffs pled guilty to their respective charges and were left with felony convictions that they believed would follow them for life, possibly impacting their chances for future immigration relief.

On Aug. 7, 2014, the plaintiffs filed their first amended complaint and filed a motion for preliminary injunction the following day. On Sept. 10, 2014, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and lack of jurisdiction along with a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ first amended complaint.

On Jan. 5, 2015, Judge Campbell granted plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction and enjoined the defendants from enforcing A.R.S. § 2009(A)(3) and the portion of A.R.S. § 13−2008(A) that addresses actions committed "with the intent to obtain or continue employment." 76 F.Supp.3d 833 (2015). All the defendants -- the State, the County, and the Sheriff -- appealed.

While the appeal was being litigated in the 9th Circuit, the case continued in the District Court. On Mar.27, 2015 Judge Campbell denied reconsideration of the preliminary injunction. 2015 WL 1432674.

On July 7, 2015, the plaintiffs filed their second amended complaint. A month later Judge Campbell granted defendant’s motion that the matter not be conducted as a class action. In addition, Judge Campbell decided several discovery related matters: See 2016 WL 722949 (February 24, 2016); 2016 WL 2587991 (May 5, 2016).

On May 2, 2016, the 9th Circuit completed its review of the preliminary injunction appeal, and reversed the district court. In an opinion by Judge Richard C. Tallman, the Court of Appeals held that the District Court erred in its ruling that Arizona’s employment-related identity theft laws were preempted in all applications. Therefore, the preliminary injunction was vacated and remanded for further proceedings to adjudicate the plaintiffs' remaining claims, including the "as-applied" preemption challenge. (The Court dismissed Maricopa County’s appeal, in particular, for lack of jurisdiction.) 2016 WL 1730588, --- F.3d ---.

Back in District Court discovery proceeded. On July 1, 2016, defendants moved for summary judgment, and 5 days later plaintiffs moved for partial summary judgment. Judge Campbell heard oral argument on Oct. 13, 2016 and issued an order on Nov. 22. He granted in part both plaintiffs' and defendants' summary judgment motions on the preemption issue, and granted defendants' summary judgment motion on the equal protection issue. Judge Campbell held that federal immigration law demonstrated a clear Congressional intent to preempt only state prosecution of identity fraud in the employment eligibility process (the federal Form I-9), but not in other employment-related fraud (including Arizona's identity theft and forgery statutes). Further, Judge Campbell held that the Arizona statutes did not violate Equal Protection. Although the legislature enacted the laws to combat illegal immigration, it also did so to combat identity theft, a legitimate state interest. The statutes were also facially neutral, and thus survived rational-basis review. 2016 WL 6873294.

Plaintiff then moved for injunctive relief on Dec. 16, 2016; Judge Campbell held a motion hearing on Mar. 9, 2017 and issued an order on Mar. 27. He entered judgment declaring that under the Supremacy Clause and ICRA, defendants were preempted from using information submitted solely for the federal employment verification process, in order to prosecute violations of A.R.S. § 13-2002, A.R.S § 13-2008(A), or A.R.S § 13-2009(A)(3). Judge Campbell enjoined MCSO from this practice, and ordered the Sheriff to create and distribute a written policy within 60 days. 2017 WL 1133012.

On Oct. 25, 2017, Judge Campbell awarded $1,015,990 in attorneys' fees and $20,532.08 in non-taxable expenses to plaintiffs, against the Maricopa County Attorney in his official capacity, the Maricopa County Sheriff in his official capacity, and Maricopa County. Defendants could appeal by Jan. 26, 2018, but did not do so.

On Jan. 26, 2018, the parties notified the court that they had reached a settlement. The docket does not include the terms.

This case is now closed.

Matt Ramirez - 05/24/2016
Ava Morgenstern - 01/29/2018

compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Supremacy Clause
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Preliminary relief granted
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Classification / placement
Disparate Treatment
False arrest
Placement in detention facilities
Constitutional rights
Criminal prosecution
Detention - criteria
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)
Defendant(s) Maricopa County
State of Arizona
Plaintiff Description Two undocumented workers prosecuted for aggravated identity theft, an immigrant advocacy organization, and three ministers.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Declaratory Judgment
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2017 - n/a
Filed 06/18/2014
Case Closing Year 2017
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Additional Resources
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  See this case at (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Puente V. Arpaio: Stop the Raids!
Date: May 26, 2016
By: Puente Arizona
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Puente Arizona v. Arpaio
Date: May 5, 2016
By: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

2:14-cv-01356-DGC (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0022-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/28/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-AZ-0022-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/18/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 8] (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0022-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/20/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 128] (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0022-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/01/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 133] (76 F.Supp.3d 833) (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0022-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/05/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 164] (2015 WL 1432674) (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0022-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/27/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 191]
IM-AZ-0022-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/07/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 373] (2016 WL 7743406) (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0022-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/22/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 430] (2016 WL 7227552) (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0022-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/19/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 440] (2016 WL 722949) (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0022-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/24/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 121-1] (821 F.3d 1098)
IM-AZ-0022-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/02/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 479] (314 F.R.D. 664) (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0022-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/05/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 623] (2016 WL 6873294) (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0022-0012.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/22/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 701] (2017 WL 1133012) (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0022-0015.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/27/2017
Source: Westlaw
Judgment in Civil Case [ECF# 702] (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0022-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 731] (2017 WL 4805116) (D. Ariz.)
IM-AZ-0022-0014.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/25/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Campbell, David G. (D. Ariz.) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0022-0002 | IM-AZ-0022-0003 | IM-AZ-0022-0004 | IM-AZ-0022-0005 | IM-AZ-0022-0007 | IM-AZ-0022-0008 | IM-AZ-0022-0009 | IM-AZ-0022-0010 | IM-AZ-0022-0012 | IM-AZ-0022-0014 | IM-AZ-0022-0015 | IM-AZ-0022-9000
Tallman, Richard C. (FISCR, Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Anchors, Sarah R. (Arizona) show/hide docs
Ashar, Sameer M. (California) show/hide docs
Bansal, Jessica Karp (California) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0022-0001 | IM-AZ-0022-0006 | IM-AZ-0022-9000
Bendor, Joshua David R. (Arizona) show/hide docs
Brody, Kathleen E. (Arizona) show/hide docs
Carrillo, Jose A. (Arizona) show/hide docs
Diaz, Hector J. (Arizona) show/hide docs
Hermes, Edward J.B. (Arizona) show/hide docs
Lai, Anne (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0022-0001 | IM-AZ-0022-0006 | IM-AZ-0022-9000
MacLean, Emilou (California) show/hide docs
Panuco, Cindy (California) show/hide docs
Piovia-Scott, Joshua (California) show/hide docs
Pochoda, Daniel Joseph (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0022-0001 | IM-AZ-0022-0006 | IM-AZ-0022-9000
Stormer, Dan Lewis (California) show/hide docs
Vosburgh, Jessica Myers (Alabama) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0022-0006 | IM-AZ-0022-9000
Ybarra Maldonado, Ray A. (Arizona) show/hide docs
IM-AZ-0022-0001 | IM-AZ-0022-0006 | IM-AZ-0022-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Draye, Dominic Emil (Arizona) show/hide docs
Elliott, Stephanie Susan (Arizona) show/hide docs
Heathcotte, Brock Jason (Arizona) show/hide docs
Hethmon, Michael M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
Iafrate, Michele Marie (Arizona) show/hide docs
Irish, Douglas L. (Arizona) show/hide docs
Liddy, Thomas P (Arizona) show/hide docs
Mangum, J. Kenneth (Arizona) show/hide docs
Miller, Keith Joseph (Arizona) show/hide docs
Nelson, Katherine Cazan (Arizona) show/hide docs
Tryon, G Michael (Arizona) show/hide docs
Uglietta, Ann Thompson (Arizona) show/hide docs
Waters, Renee Jeanette (Arizona) show/hide docs

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