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Case Name Mendez Rojas v. Johnson IM-WA-0026
Docket / Court 2:16-cv-01024 ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
Case Summary
On June 30, 2016, asylum seekers in this case, represented by the American Immigration Council and partners, filed this lawsuit against the Attorney General of the United States as well as the directors of the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S ... read more >
On June 30, 2016, asylum seekers in this case, represented by the American Immigration Council and partners, filed this lawsuit against the Attorney General of the United States as well as the directors of the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review. The plaintiffs argued that DHS had failed to notify them of its one-year asylum application deadline and failed to implement mechanisms that guaranteed members the opportunity to timely submit these applications. The plaintiffs argued that these actions violated the Administrative Procedure Act, the Immigration and Nationality Act, governing regulations, and their due process rights. They sought class certification, injunctive and declaratory relief, mandamus, and attorneys' fees.

On July 21, 2016, the plaintiffs moved to certify their class. However, the court granted a stipulated motion to stay the case until after the 2016 presidential election. The case was restored to active docket on November 7, 2016.

In January 2017, the court issued an order certifying the class. 2017 WL 1397749. The court certified the following classes and subclasses:
• CLASS A (“Credible Fear Class”): All individuals who have been released or will be released from DHS custody after they have been found to have a credible fear of persecution within the meaning of 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b)(1)(B)(v) and did not receive notice from DHS of the one-year deadline to file an asylum application as set forth in 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a)(2)(B).
• A.I.: All individuals in Class A who are not in removal proceedings and who either (a) have not yet applied for asylum or (b) applied for asylum after one year of their last arrival.
• A.II.: All individuals in Class A who are in removal proceedings and who either (a) have not yet applied for asylum or (b) applied for asylum after one year of their last arrival.
• CLASS B (“Other Entrants Class”): All individuals who have been or will be detained upon entry; express a fear of return to their country of origin; are released or will be released from DHS custody without a credible fear determination; are issued a Notice to Appear (NTA); and did not receive notice from DHS of the one-year deadline to file an asylum application set forth in 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a)(2)(B).
• B.I.: All individuals in Class B who are not in removal proceedings and who either (a) have not yet applied for asylum or (b) applied for asylum after one year of their last arrival.
• B.II.: All individuals in Class B who are in removal proceedings and who either (a) have not yet applied for asylum or (b) applied for asylum after one year of their last arrival.

The day after class certification, the defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiffs lacked standing and that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. The court denied the motion in March 2017. 2017 WL 1153856.

On October 30, 2017, the plaintiffs moved for summary judgment. The defendants opposed the motion, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction and that neither Congress nor the Constitution required the notice that the plaintiffs were seeking. The court disagreed, and granted summary judgment for the plaintiffs. On March 29, 2018, the court found that Congress, in adopting the one-year application deadline, expressed concern about foreclosing legitimate claims and intended to monitor administration of the deadline to make sure it was implemented fairly. Failure to provide notice to class members, then, violated Congressional intent. The court also found that the defendants had not taken steps that were “reasonably calculated” to provide notice to class members and that consequently, it had not met its procedural due process obligations.

The defendants appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit on May 25, 2018. According to the American Immigration Council, the parties agreed to a joint interim stay agreement that requires the Executive Office for Immigration Review and USCIS to treat as timely all pending and newly filed asylum applications adjudicated during the stay that are filed by class members without final orders of removal. See the Council's website for additional information.

Since the defendants filed the appeal, the parties have been participating the Ninth Circuit's mediation program which facilitates settlement. As of this writing, this process is ongoing.

Alexandra Gilewicz - 10/16/2018
Peter Harding - 11/18/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
General
Government Services (specify)
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Timeliness of case assignment
Immigration/Border
Asylum - procedure
Deportation - procedure
Status/Classification
Language
Spanish
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) Attorney General of the United States
Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description Asylum seekers who allege that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) failed to advise them of the deadline for filing their asylum applications and failed to adopt procedures which would ensure that an individual would be able to file an asylum application by the deadline.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
2:16-cv-01024-RSM (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0026-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/02/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
18-35443 (U.S. Court of Appeals)
IM-WA-0026-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/31/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-WA-0026-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/30/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 7]
IM-WA-0026-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/21/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 37] (2017 WL 1397749) (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0026-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/10/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 41] (2017 WL 1153856) (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0026-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/28/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 57]
IM-WA-0026-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/30/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 64] (305 F.Supp.3d 1176) (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0026-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/29/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Martinez, Ricardo S. (W.D. Wash.) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0026-0003 | IM-WA-0026-0004 | IM-WA-0026-0006 | IM-WA-0026-9000 | IM-WA-0026-9001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adams, Matthew (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0026-0001 | IM-WA-0026-0002 | IM-WA-0026-0005 | IM-WA-0026-9000 | IM-WA-0026-9001
Dobrin, Victoria (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0026-0001 | IM-WA-0026-0002 | IM-WA-0026-0005 | IM-WA-0026-9000 | IM-WA-0026-9001
Han, Hilary (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0026-0001 | IM-WA-0026-0002 | IM-WA-0026-0005 | IM-WA-0026-9000 | IM-WA-0026-9001
Kenney, Mary (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0026-0001 | IM-WA-0026-0002 | IM-WA-0026-0005 | IM-WA-0026-9000 | IM-WA-0026-9001
Macleod-Ball, Kristin A. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0026-0001 | IM-WA-0026-0002 | IM-WA-0026-0005 | IM-WA-0026-9000 | IM-WA-0026-9001
Madrid, Glenda Melinda Aldana (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0026-0001 | IM-WA-0026-0002 | IM-WA-0026-0005 | IM-WA-0026-9000
Realmuto, Trina (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0026-0001 | IM-WA-0026-0002 | IM-WA-0026-0005 | IM-WA-0026-9000 | IM-WA-0026-9001
Reichlin-Melnick, Aaron (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0026-0001 | IM-WA-0026-0002 | IM-WA-0026-0005 | IM-WA-0026-9000
Walters, Karolina Joanna (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0026-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Steffens Guzman, Gladys M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0026-9000 | IM-WA-0026-9001
Weintraub, J. Max (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0026-9000 | IM-WA-0026-9001

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