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Case Name Salim v. Mitchell NS-WA-0003
Docket / Court 2:15-cv-00286 ( E.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) National Security
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Case Summary
On October 13, 2015 two men and the estate of a third man, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. The plaintiffs sued two psychologists who “designed, implemented, and personally administered an experimental torture program” for the CIA under the ... read more >
On October 13, 2015 two men and the estate of a third man, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. The plaintiffs sued two psychologists who “designed, implemented, and personally administered an experimental torture program” for the CIA under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) (28 U.S.C. § 1350) for human rights violations. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU and private counsel, sought monetary relief for "physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering." The plaintiffs claimed that torture, non-consensual human experimentation, and war crimes had been committed against them during detention by the United States.

On January 8, 2016, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that “1) the court lacked jurisdiction due to the Political Question Doctrine; 2) Defendants were entitled to derivative sovereign immunity; 3) the ATS did not confer jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' claims; and 4) Plaintiff Obaid Ullah lacked the capacity to sue.” 183 F. Supp. 3d 1121. A motion hearing was held on April 22, 2016 and the motion was denied on April 28, 2016. In doing so the court took “the well pleaded factual allegations as true” and found that none of the contested grounds required the court to dismiss the case. Id.

Following discovery litigation, the defendants filed another motion to dismiss on November 18, 2016, claiming that “the Military Commissions Act (‘MCA’)...deprives this court of jurisdiction over 'non-habeas detention-related claims' brought by an alien when the alien was determined to have been properly detained by the United States as an ‘enemy combatant.”'

A motion hearing was held on January 19, 2017 and Senior Judge Justin Quackenbush denied the motion to dismiss on January 27, 2017. The motion was denied on the grounds that the defendants had not demonstrated “an agency relationship with the Government” and “[n]one of the three Plaintiffs was determined by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal to be an ‘enemy combatant.’” 2017 WL 390270.

On May 22, 2017, both parties moved for summary judgment. A hearing on these motions occurred on July 28, 2017. On August 7, 2017, the court denied both motions for summary judgment, finding that "neither side had demonstrated that judgment as a matter of law is appropriate." 268 F. Supp. 3d 1132.

On August 17, 2017 the plaintiffs moved to dismiss the claim with prejudice, pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement between the parties. The court entered judgment that same day to dismiss the case, which is now closed.

Rachel Barr - 02/19/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Conditions of confinement
International law
Over/Unlawful Detention
Restraints : physical
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Torture
Totality of conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA), 28 U.S.C. § 1350
Defendant(s) James Elmer Mitchell
John "Bruce" Jessen
Plaintiff Description Two men and the estate of a third man, alleging torture while in the custody of the CIA.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Voluntary Dismissal
Filing Year 2015
Case Closing Year 2017
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
2:15-cv-286 (E.D. Wash.)
NS-WA-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/17/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial [ECF# 1]
NS-WA-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/13/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order Denying Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 40] (183 F.Supp.3d 1121) (E.D. Wash.)
NS-WA-0003-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/28/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Re: Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 135] (2017 WL 390270) (E.D. Wash.)
NS-WA-0003-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/27/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order Denying Both Parties' Motion for Summary Motion [ECF# 239] (268 F.Supp.3d 1132) (E.D. Wash.)
NS-WA-0003-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/07/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Quackenbush, Justin Lowe (E.D. Wash.) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0003-0002 | NS-WA-0003-0003 | NS-WA-0003-0004 | NS-WA-0003-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Baker, La Rond (Washington) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0003-0001 | NS-WA-0003-9000
Chiang, Emily (Washington) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0003-9000
Frey, Avram D. (New Jersey) show/hide docs
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Hoffman, Paul L. (California) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0003-0001 | NS-WA-0003-9000
Jaffer, Jameel (New York) show/hide docs
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Janukowicz, Kate E. (New Jersey) show/hide docs
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Ladin, Dror (New York) show/hide docs
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Lustberg, Lawrence S. (New Jersey) show/hide docs
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McGrady, Daniel J. (New Jersey) show/hide docs
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Shamsi, Hina (New York) show/hide docs
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Watt, Steven M. (New York) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0003-0001 | NS-WA-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Paszamant, Brian S. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
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Rosenthal, Jeffery N. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
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Schuelke, Henry F. III (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Smith, James T. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
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Tompkins, Christopher W. (Washington) show/hide docs
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Other Lawyers Johnson, Timothy Andrew (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Warden, Andrew Irwin (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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