University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name ACLU of Washington v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security NS-WA-0004
Docket / Court 2:17-cv-00562 ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) National Security
Special Collection Trump Administration FOIA cases
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On April 12, 2017, the ACLUs of Washington, Montana, and North Dakota filed this suit against the United States under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This was one of over a dozen such suits; each aimed to shed light on how U.S. Customs and Border Protection implemented President Trump's Jan ... read more >
On April 12, 2017, the ACLUs of Washington, Montana, and North Dakota filed this suit against the United States under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This was one of over a dozen such suits; each aimed to shed light on how U.S. Customs and Border Protection implemented President Trump's Jan. 27 and Mar. 6 Executive Orders that ban admission to the U.S. of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Specifically, plaintiffs sought information "concerning CBP’s local implementation of President Trump’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order...as well as any other judicial order or executive directive issued regarding Executive Order No. 1, including President Trump’s March 6, 2017 Executive Order." The request concerned implementation at international airports within the purview of CBP's Seattle Field Office, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Fargo-Hector International Airport. The request also concerned the number of individuals who were detained or subjected to secondary screening, extended questioning, enforcement examination, or consideration for a waiver at the aforementioned airports pursuant to the EO.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs argued that the requested records "would facilitate the public’s understanding of how Defendants implemented and enforced the Executive Orders" and that "[s]uch information is critical to the public’s ability to hold the government accountable."

The case was assigned to Judge Robert S. Lasnik.

On May 8, the government filed a motion to treat all of these FOIA cases as "multidistrict litigation" effectively consolidating them before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. For the transfer motion see this case. The ACLU filed an opposition to the motion to transfer on May 30, arguing that "[g]ranting consolidation and transfer would promote forum-shopping and delay, not justice." On Aug. 3, the U.S. District Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation denied the government's consolidation motion. In its order, the Panel found that although the thirteen FOIA cases share "a limited number of factual issues," these issues "appear relatively straightforward and unlikely to entail extensive pretrial proceedings."

The case was reassigned to Judge Marsha J. Pechman on Aug. 31.

Litigation continued over a possible production schedule and appropriate search parameters for the government to use in responding to the FOIA request. In proceedings held on Oct. 17, 2017, and in an order issued on Jan. 12, 2018, the court directed the government to turn over documents responsive to the ACLU's FOIA requests.

As of a status report filed on Mar. 2, 2018, the government finished processing and producing all records responsive to the FOIA request. The May 1, 2018, status report indicated the parties were in discussions to streamline final resolution of the case. The parties requested a discovery deadline of Nov. 1, 2018, and for dispositive motions to be filed by Jan. 31, 2019.

On February 25, 2019, the parties filed a stipulation and proposed order for dismissal, which Judge Pechman signed on February 26, 2019, dismissing all claims with prejudice. The case is now closed.

Virginia Weeks - 04/24/2017
Virginia Weeks - 05/02/2018
Jamie Kessler - 08/07/2017
Caitlin Kierum - 03/21/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Religion discrimination
General
Racial profiling
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
Religious programs / policies
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Watchlist
Immigration/Border
Admission - criteria
Admission - procedure
Asylum - criteria
Asylum - procedure
Border police
Detention - conditions
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Refugees
Status/Classification
Visas - criteria
Visas - procedures
National Origin/Ethnicity
Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) United States
Plaintiff Description State ACLU organizations
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Document release under case management orders
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Filed 04/12/2017
Case Closing Year 2019
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing NS-TX-0004 : ACLU Foundation of Texas v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (S.D. Tex.)
NS-ME-0001 : American Civil Liberties Union of Maine v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (D. Me.)
NS-FL-0002 : American Civil Liberties Union of Florida v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (S.D. Fla.)
NS-CA-0024 : American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai'i v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (N.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0025 : American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (S.D. Cal.)
NS-VA-0007 : American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (E.D. Va.)
NS-IL-0004 : American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (N.D. Ill.)
NS-CA-0026 : ACLU of Southern California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (C.D. Cal.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  We Sued for Records About Trump’s Muslim Bans. Here’s What We Found Out.
www.aclu.org
Date: Oct. 24, 2017
By: Vera Eidelman (American Civil Liberties Union)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  ACLU Files Lawsuits Demanding Local Documents on Implementation of Trump Muslim Ban
www.aclu.org
Date: Apr. 12, 2017
By: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:17-cv-00562-RSL (W.D. Wash.)
NS-WA-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/26/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief for Violation of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 [ECF# 1]
NS-WA-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/12/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Transfer [ECF# 28] (W.D. Wash.)
NS-WA-0004-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/02/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order for Dismissal [ECF# 53] (W.D. Wash.)
NS-WA-0004-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/26/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Breyer, Charles R. (N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0004-0005
Huvelle, Ellen Segal (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0004-0005
Kaplan, Lewis A. (S.D.N.Y.) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0004-0005
Pechman, Marsha J. (W.D. Wash.) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0004-0006 | NS-WA-0004-9000
Perry, Catherine D. (E.D. Mo.) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0004-0005
Proctor, R. David (N.D. Ala.) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0004-0005
Vance, Sarah S. (E.D. La.) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0004-0005
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chiang, Emily (Washington) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0004-0001 | NS-WA-0004-9000
Stahl, Eric (Washington) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0004-0001 | NS-WA-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Berns, Matthew (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0004-9000
Lee, Jason (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0004-9000
Patil, Chetan Adinath (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-WA-0004-9000

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