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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 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 ... read more >
On April 12, 2017, the ACLUs of Washington, Montana, and North Dakota filed this suit 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.

The case is ongoing.

Virginia Weeks - 04/24/2017
Virginia Weeks - 09/15/2017
Jamie Kessler - 08/07/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
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
Refugees
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 ACLU of Washington
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing NS-TX-0004 : ACLU Foundation of Texas v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (S.D. Tex.)
NS-ME-0001 : ACLU of Maine v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (D. Me.)
NS-FL-0002 : ACLU of Florida v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (S.D. Fla.)
Additional Resources
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  ACLU Files Lawsuits Demanding Local Documents on Implementation of Trump Muslim Ban
https://www.aclu.org/
Date: Apr. 12, 2017
By: American Civil Liberties Union (American Civil Liberties Union)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:17-cv-00562-RSL (W.D. Wash.)
NS-WA-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/01/2017
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]
Judges Breyer, Charles R. (N.D. Cal.)
NS-WA-0004-0005
Huvelle, Ellen Segal (D.D.C.)
NS-WA-0004-0005
Kaplan, Lewis A. (S.D.N.Y.)
NS-WA-0004-0005
Pechman, Marsha J. (W.D. Wash.)
NS-WA-0004-9000
Perry, Catherine D. (E.D. Mo.)
NS-WA-0004-0005
Proctor, R. David (N.D. Ala.)
NS-WA-0004-0005
Vance, Sarah S. (E.D. La.)
NS-WA-0004-0005
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chiang, Emily (Washington)
NS-WA-0004-0001 | NS-WA-0004-9000
Stahl, Eric (Washington)
NS-WA-0004-0001 | NS-WA-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Berns, Matthew (District of Columbia)
NS-WA-0004-9000
Lee, Jason (District of Columbia)
NS-WA-0004-9000
Patil, Chetan (District of Columbia)
NS-WA-0004-9000

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