University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name American Civil Liberties Union of Florida v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security NS-FL-0002
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-21382-DPG ( S.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) National Security
Special Collection Trump Administration FOIA cases
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On Apr. 12, 2017, the ACLU of Florida filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 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 (CBP) implemented ... read more >
On Apr. 12, 2017, the ACLU of Florida filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 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 (CBP) implemented President Trump's January 27 and March 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 at issue in this case in particular concerned implementation at CBP’s Miami Field Office (including Miami International Airport and various ports of entry) and CBP’s Tampa Field Office (including Orlando International Airport and various ports of entry).

In the complaint, plaintiffs argued that the requested records "would facilitate the public’s understanding" of how defendants implemented and enforced the Executive Orders through the Miami and Tampa Field Offices, and that "[s]uch information is critical to the public’s ability to hold the government accountable." Plaintiffs noted that the Miami and Orlando airports are especially busy hubs for international passengers, and that a direct flight route runs from Dubai to Orlando.

On Apr. 12, the case was assigned to Judge Darrin P. Gayles.

On May 8, the government filed a motion to treat all of these FOIA cases as "multidistrict litigation" effectively seeking to consolidate them before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. For the transfer motion and subsequent procedure see this case.

Pending a transfer decision by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, Judge Gayles administratively closed the case on June 29, effectively staying it until the Panel made a decision. On Aug. 2, the Panel denied defendants' transfer motion. The parties jointly moved to reopen the case on Aug. 8, and Judge Gayles granted this motion on Aug. 22.

On Nov. 16, the parties submitted a joint scheduling report, agreeing that setting a trial date would be premature. Judge Gayles ordered the parties instead to submit a joint status report by Dec. 15.

In the Dec. 15 status report, the parties explained that defendants were working to identify whether records they released in the other ACLU cases were also responsive to this this. The report also explained that defendants' processing capacity had recently improved. Plaintiff continued to monitor production.

On Jan. 8, 2018, the parties reported that, in all the nationwide cases combined, defendants had to process thousands more pages than they had previously estimated they could. The parties thus agreed that, in this case, defendants would process 300 pages of potentially responsive records and produce responsive non-exempt records to plaintiff by Feb. 28, 2018.

In the latest status report, of Mar. 7, the parties stated that defendants had agreed on a production schedule. Subsequently, on Mar. 9, Judge Gayles ordered defendants to process 400 emails by Apr. 30, 800 emails by June 30, and 95% of all emails by Sept. 30, ending with completed production by Dec. 31. A status report filed on May 7 indicated that DHS had processed 4,629 pages of potentially responsive emails and produced 2,394 pages of responsive emails.

The documents released by the government in all the ACLU cases are available through this case page. This case is ongoing.

Ava Morgenstern - 03/10/2018
Virginia Weeks - 05/11/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
General
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Immigration/Border
Admission - criteria
Admission - procedure
Border police
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Refugees
Visas - criteria
Visas - procedures
National Origin/Ethnicity
Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Special Case Type
Multi-District Litigation (MDL)
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description American Civil Liberties Union of Florida
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
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 : American Civil Liberties Union of Maine v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (D. Me.)
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-CA-0026 : ACLU of Southern California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (C.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-MI-0005 : ACLU of Michigan v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (E.D. Mich.)
NS-GA-0001 : ACLU of Georgia v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (N.D. Ga.)
NS-OR-0005 : ACLU of Oregon v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D. Or.)
NS-WA-0004 : ACLU of Washington v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (W.D. Wash.)
NS-AZ-0001 : ACLU of Arizona v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D. Ariz.)
Additional Resources
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  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)
1:17-cv-21382 (S.D. Fla.)
NS-FL-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/09/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
NS-FL-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/12/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Unopposed Motion for Enlargement of Time to File Response to Complaint [ECF# 17]
NS-FL-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Report [ECF# 36]
NS-FL-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/15/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Report [ECF# 40]
NS-FL-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/08/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 41] (S.D. Fla.)
NS-FL-0002-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/09/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Report [ECF# 42]
NS-FL-0002-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/07/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Gayles, Darrin Phillip (S.D. Fla.)
NS-FL-0002-0005 | NS-FL-0002-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abudu, Nancy G (Florida)
NS-FL-0002-0001 | NS-FL-0002-0003 | NS-FL-0002-0004 | NS-FL-0002-0006 | NS-FL-0002-9000
Kacou, Amien (Florida)
NS-FL-0002-0003 | NS-FL-0002-0004 | NS-FL-0002-0006 | NS-FL-0002-9000
Mogensen, Andrea Flynn (Florida)
NS-FL-0002-0001 | NS-FL-0002-0003 | NS-FL-0002-0004 | NS-FL-0002-0006 | NS-FL-0002-9000
Stevenson, Benjamin James (Florida)
NS-FL-0002-0001 | NS-FL-0002-9000
Tannebaum, Brian Lee (Florida)
NS-FL-0002-0001 | NS-FL-0002-0003 | NS-FL-0002-0004 | NS-FL-0002-0006 | NS-FL-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Berns, Matthew (District of Columbia)
NS-FL-0002-0002 | NS-FL-0002-9000
D'Ottavio, Kari E. (District of Columbia)
NS-FL-0002-0003 | NS-FL-0002-0004 | NS-FL-0002-0006 | NS-FL-0002-9000
Greenberg, Benjamin G. (District of Columbia)
NS-FL-0002-0003 | NS-FL-0002-0004 | NS-FL-0002-0006
Lee, Dexter (Florida)
NS-FL-0002-0002 | NS-FL-0002-0003 | NS-FL-0002-0004 | NS-FL-0002-0006
Patil, Chetan (District of Columbia)
NS-FL-0002-0002 | NS-FL-0002-9000
Readler, Chad A. (District of Columbia)
NS-FL-0002-0002 | NS-FL-0002-0003 | NS-FL-0002-0004 | NS-FL-0002-0006
Shapiro, Elizabeth J. (District of Columbia)
NS-FL-0002-0002 | NS-FL-0002-0003 | NS-FL-0002-0004 | NS-FL-0002-0006

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