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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name City of Seattle v. Trump IM-WA-0033
Docket / Court 2:17-cv-00497-BAT ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Immigration Enforcement Orders
Case Summary
The City of Seattle commenced this lawsuit on March 29, 2017 to challenge President Trump's January 25, 2017 Executive Order (EO), Executive Order 13768. The EO denies federal funding to cities that resist enforcing the ... read more >
The City of Seattle commenced this lawsuit on March 29, 2017 to challenge President Trump's January 25, 2017 Executive Order (EO), Executive Order 13768. The EO denies federal funding to cities that resist enforcing the federal government’s immigration enforcement policies. Represented by private attorneys, the City of Seattle filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington seeking declaratory relief.

According to the complaint, Seattle decided on a policy that law enforcement should not inquire into anyone's immigration status "unless specifically required to do so by law or court order." Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1373, a city that restrict the government from information regarding the immigration status of any individual would be designated as a "sanctuary jurisdiction,” thus in violation of the statute. The effect of such a designated would be denying Seattle “significant funding that it uses for such essential purposes as home care for the disabled elderly and nutrition assistance for needy children.” Seattle requested that the Court declare it to be in compliance with 8 U.S.C. 1373 and also declare that the EO violated the Tenth Amendment and the Spending Clause.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss on June 5. The motion argued that Seattle cannot show injury and that the claim is not ripe. The motion also argued that the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

Meanwhile, on April 25, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against operation of the Executive Order. See San Francisco v. Trump for details.

The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on June 26, 2017 and on July 5, the court struck the motion to dismiss as moot. Then, on July 10, defendants filed a new motion to dismiss plaintiffs' amended complaint, arguing that the cities have not met their burden of showing clear injury and that the cities' amended complaint is based on mere speculation as to the order's scope. The court denied the motion to dismiss on October 19.

On October 30, 2017, the parties filed a joint motion to stay proceedings pending resolution in County of Santa Clara v. Trump in the Ninth Circuit. The court granted the motion the next day.

In the Santa Clara case, the Ninth Circuit held that the executive branch could not refuse to disperse the federal grants without congressional authorization under the Separation of Powers principle and the Spending Clause. 897 F.3d 1225. Back in this court, on October 24, Judge Jones, in a summary order, entered judgment, declaring the EO unconstitutional and the withholding of funds from Seattle and Portland pursuant to the EO unconstitutional as well.

There is no more docket activity after October 24, 2018, and no appeal was noticed. The case is now closed.

Virginia Weeks - 04/02/2017
Jamie Kessler - 07/10/2017
Virginia Weeks - 10/25/2018
Sichun Liu - 02/17/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Federalism
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Funding
Public assistance grants
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - procedure
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Sanctuary city/state
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description City of Seattle
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2017
Case Closing Year 2018
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Implementation of Executive Order 13768, "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
The Washington Post
Date: May 22, 2017
By: Jefferson Sessions (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Implementing the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Executive Order 13767: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 27, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
Citation: 82 Fed. Reg. Presidential Documents 8793 (Jan. 27, 2017)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Executive Order 13768: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 25, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:17-cv-00497-BAT (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0033-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/24/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive [ECF# 1]
IM-WA-0033-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/29/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 24]
IM-WA-0033-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/05/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory Relief [ECF# 27]
IM-WA-0033-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint [ECF# 34]
IM-WA-0033-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/10/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Judgment Granting Declaratory Relief [ECF# 62] (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0033-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/24/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Jones, Richard A. (W.D. Wash.) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0005 | IM-WA-0033-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Crum, Travis M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0003 | IM-WA-0033-9000
Evanson, Kymberly K. (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-9000
Holmes, Peter S. (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0001 | IM-WA-0033-0003 | IM-WA-0033-9000
Jones, Karianne M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-9000
Lawrence, Paul J. (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-9000
Lev, Ori (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0003 | IM-WA-0033-9000
Lewis, John T. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0003 | IM-WA-0033-9000
Narver, Gregory Colin (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0001 | IM-WA-0033-0003 | IM-WA-0033-9000
Pincus, Andrew J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0003 | IM-WA-0033-9000
Reeve, Tracy (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-9000
Rothfeld, Charles A. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0003 | IM-WA-0033-9000
Ryan, Michelle [Micky] L. (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0001 | IM-WA-0033-0003 | IM-WA-0033-9000
Seu, Carlton W.M. (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0001 | IM-WA-0033-0003 | IM-WA-0033-9000
Silverstein, Joshua (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0003 | IM-WA-0033-9000
Smith, Gary T. (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0001 | IM-WA-0033-0003 | IM-WA-0033-9000
Vannier, Denis M. (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0003 | IM-WA-0033-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Buckingham, Stephen J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0002 | IM-WA-0033-0004 | IM-WA-0033-9000
Readler, Chad Andrew (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0004
Tyler, John Russell (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-0004
Other Lawyers Stephens, Richard M. (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0033-9000

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