University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Gonzalez v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement IM-CA-0082
Docket / Court 2:13-cv-04416-BRO-FFM ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU of Southern California
National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
Case Summary
On June 19, 2013, a detained plaintiff filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, as well as private counsel, plaintiff ... read more >
On June 19, 2013, a detained plaintiff filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, as well as private counsel, plaintiff sued Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Plaintiff asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief and habeas corpus relief. Specifically, he alleged that ICE's practice of issuing immigration detainers resulted in unlawful seizures and unreasonable over-detentions, in violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Plaintiff also sought class action certification for all persons who were or would be held under ICE's immigration detainer policy.

Under the Secure Communities program, ICE issued immigration detainers, also known as holds, to individuals in the custody of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. When issuing a detainer, ICE requested that the agency hold the individual for 48 business hours (excluding weekends and holidays) past the time he or she would otherwise be released from criminal custody. During this time, ICE would investigate whether the individual was subject to immigration removal. If so, ICE could assume physical custody.

Plaintiff argued that ICE's immigration detainer practice violated the Fourth Amendment, by initiating a seizure without probable cause for a reason unrelated to the initial criminal custody. According to plaintiff, ICE -- contrary to stated policy -- in practice did not require probable cause for issuing a detainer and often did not investigate removability until after the individual was already in ICE's physical custody. An individual could not contest ICE's determination of removability until he or she had already been detained.

Plaintiff alleged he is a natural-born United States citizen, was detained and awaiting trial in a Los Angeles County jail on a criminal charge, and subsequently was detained in ICE custody. Despite ample evidence of his US citizenship, plaintiff alleged, ICE issued an immigration detainer on him, based on an erroneous belief that he was a Mexican national.

The case was assigned to Judge Beverly Reid O'Connell. On Sept. 18, 2013, plaintiff filed a second amended complaint. This document stated that the first plaintiff had been released from ICE custody shortly after the first complaint had been filed. The second amended complaint also added another plaintiff, a naturalized US citizen on whom ICE had also issued an immigration detainer and later released.

On July 28, 2014, Judge O'Connell granted defendants' Mar. 10, 2014 motion to dismiss the second amended complaint, but allowed plaintiffs leave to amend. Although Judge O'Connell found that plaintiffs had suffered injuries directly traceable to ICE, and had been in ICE's custody for habeas purposes, plaintiffs were unlikely to reenter ICE custody and therefore lacked standing to seek prospective injunctive relief. However, they still had standing to seek certain injunctive relief, because they had sufficiently pleaded a claim that ICE's detainer practices were ultra vires; their claims were not moot even after ICE canceled their detainers. 2014 WL 12605368 (C.D. Cal. July 28, 2014).

On Aug. 18, 2014, plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint. According to plaintiffs, immigration detainers, in addition to creating unconstitutional detentions, also harmed criminal defendants by constraining their ability to post bail, negotiate for plea arrangements, and qualify for beneficial jail or prison classifications and work programs. In addition to the claims in the first complaint, plaintiffs added another Fourth Amendment violation (detention without prompt judicial probable cause determination) and another Fifth Amendment violation (procedural due process). Another claim alleged that defendants had exceeded their statutory authority under the Administrative Procedure Act and the Immigration and Nationality Act, by requiring local enforcement agencies to make warrantless arrests on ICE's behalf. As in the first complaint, plaintiffs requested injunctive and declaratory relief and habeas relief. On the same day as they filed the third amended complaint, plaintiffs requested class action certification for all persons in Los Angeles County who were or would be subject to immigration detainers.

On Oct. 24, 2014, Judge O'Connell issued an order granting in part defendants' Sept. 15, 2014 motion to dismiss and denying without prejudice plaintiffs' Aug. 18, 2014 motion for class certification. Judge O'Connell held that while plaintiffs' request for class certification was premature, plaintiffs could move again for class certification later. Although plaintiffs had failed to establish likely prospective injury, they were suffering an ongoing injury when they filed suit, and they could bring in additional plaintiffs who were as well. 2014 WL 12605369 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 24, 2014).

On July 28, 2015, Judge O'Connell granted motions to consolidate the case with a related case, Duncan Roy et al. v. County of Los Angeles et. al., Docket No. 2:12-cv-09012 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 19, 2012). Roy is a class action on behalf of individuals in the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and who were denied bail or release due to an immigration detainer. 2015 WL 12743601 (C.D. Cal. July 28, 2015). The motions to consolidate were brought by the County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Sheriff, but opposed by both plaintiffs and ICE.

After consolidation, on Sept. 9, 2016, Judge O'Connell granted in part and denied in part plaintiffs' motions for class certification. For the Gonzalez plaintiffs specifically, the court certified the class of all persons subject to an immigration detainer in the Central District of California, but who are not in removal proceedings or have not been ordered removed. 2016 WL 5219468 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 9, 2016).

For other post-consolidation activity, see this Clearinghouse page about Roy.

Ava Morgenstern - 11/28/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Unreasonable search and seizure
General
Discharge & termination plans
Habeas Corpus
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Criminal prosecution
Detention - conditions
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Bivens
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are two US citizens subject to an ICE immigration detainer, and detained in ICE custody following their criminal detention, despite not being removable. The certified class consists of all persons subject to ICE detainers in the Central District of California, who are not in removal proceedings and have not been ordered removed.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU of Southern California
National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-CA-0064 : Roy v. Los Angeles County (C.D. Cal.)
Docket(s)
2:13-cv-4416 (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0082-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/09/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief and Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0082-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/19/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 42] (2014 WL 12605368) (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0082-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/28/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Amended Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief and Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus [ECF# 44]
IM-CA-0082-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/18/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part Defendants' Motion to to Dismiss [53] and Denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification [45] [ECF# 61] (2014 WL 12605369) (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0082-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/24/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motions to Consolidate [ECF# 95] (2015 WL 12743601) (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0082-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/28/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Re Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 96] (2016 WL 5219468) (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0082-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/09/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Mumm, Frederick F. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
IM-CA-0082-9000
O'Connell, Beverly Reid (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0082-0002 | IM-CA-0082-0004 | IM-CA-0082-0005 | IM-CA-0082-0006 | IM-CA-0082-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Arulanantham, Ahilan T (California)
IM-CA-0082-0001 | IM-CA-0082-0003 | IM-CA-0082-9000
Bansal, Jessica Karp (California)
IM-CA-0082-9000
Battles, Lindsay B. (California)
IM-CA-0082-0001 | IM-CA-0082-0003 | IM-CA-0082-9000
Bibring, Peter (California)
IM-CA-0082-0001 | IM-CA-0082-0003 | IM-CA-0082-9000
Danjuma, R. Orion (California)
IM-CA-0082-9000
Desormeau, Katherine (California)
IM-CA-0082-9000
Eliasberg, Peter J. (California)
IM-CA-0082-0001 | IM-CA-0082-0003 | IM-CA-0082-9000
Jadwat, Omar C. (New York)
IM-CA-0082-9000
Litt, Barrett S. (California)
IM-CA-0082-0001 | IM-CA-0082-0003 | IM-CA-0082-9000
Newman, Chris (California)
IM-CA-0082-9000
Pasquarella, Jennifer (California)
IM-CA-0082-0001 | IM-CA-0082-0003 | IM-CA-0082-9000
Traverso, Katherine M. (California)
IM-CA-0082-9000
Wang, Cecillia D (California)
IM-CA-0082-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Belsan, Timothy Michael (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0082-9000
Murley, Nicole N. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0082-9000
Newkirk, Gary (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0082-9000
Weintraub, J. Max (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0082-9000
Other Lawyers Clark, Justin W. (California)
IM-CA-0082-9000

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