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Case Name Texas v. Travis County IM-TX-0044
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-00425 ( W.D. Tex. )
Additional Docket(s) 17-50763  [ 17-50763 ]  Federal Court of Appeals
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Immigration Enforcement Orders
Case Summary
This suit seeks to support Texas's law Senate Bill 4 (SB4), which requires local Texas law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration officials and punishes them if they do not. Unlike the suits that seek to ... read more >
This suit seeks to support Texas's law Senate Bill 4 (SB4), which requires local Texas law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration officials and punishes them if they do not. Unlike the suits that seek to challenge President Trump's "Sanctuary City" Executive Order, this suit aims to support the work of federal immigration officials.

The Four Texas Cases

There are, so far, four cases addressing SB4--this one was the first filed. The four cases are this one, which is before Judge Sam Sparks, and three that are in front of Judge Orlando Garcia:
City of El Cenizo v. Texas, No. 1:17-cv-00404 (W.D. Tex.) IM-TX-0046
City of San Antonio, Texas v. State of Texas, No. 5:17-cv-00489 (W.D. Tex.), IM-TX-0047

This case was brought by Texas against pro-immigration cities and counties; the other three were brought by pro-immigration cities and counties seeking a declaratory judgment and injunction barring implementation of SB4. On June 6, Judge Garcia, consolidated the three other cases, with El Cenizo becoming the lead case in the consolidation. This case, however, remains separate.

Summary of this litigation

On May 7, 2017, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed this suit seeking a declaratory judgment approving SB4. Defendants are Travis County, City of Austin, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). In their complaint, the plaintiffs accused defendants of being "openly hostile" to cooperation with federal immigration officials both in policy and in practice. Judge Sam Sparks was assigned to the case.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction on May 24, 2017. They argued that the state filed the suit prior to SB4 going into effect and that it had suffered no direct injury. That same day, the state filed a motion to consolidate this case with the City of El Cenizo case.

On May 31, 2017, Texas filed an amended complaint, adding its Attorney General as a new plaintiff, and many of the City of El Cenizo plaintiffs as defendants in this case, including the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC), El Paso County, and the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund. 2017 WL 9362209 (W.D.Tex.). The amended complaint also In response, the defendants filed amended motions to dismiss on June 2, 2017.

The state voluntarily dismissed MALDEF from the case on June 16, 2017. On June 28, 2017, defendants filed motions to dismiss on the grounds that Texas lacked standing. The next day, the city of El Paso filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.

The court dismissed the case without prejudice to refiling on August 9, 2017, finding that Texas lacked actual or imminent injury, which was required for Article III standing to seek declaratory judgment. 272 F.Supp.3d 973 (W.D. Tex. 2017). The court wrote that "[t]he State's alleged injury turns on the legal consequences of some act that may or may not occur - that is, Defendants' decision to violate the law. The State has produced no evidence that at the time of filing suit, it was clear Defendants planned to violate the law once it takes effect. Expressing public disagreement with a law does not constitute a violation of the law, nor does articulating the desire to challenge the constitutionality of the law equate to a violation of it." Id. at 980. The court noted that its holding was in line with a well-established ban on advisory opinions, and that do otherwise would be to “'open a Pandora's box and invite every local government to seek a court's judicial blessing' on a law prior to it taking effect." Id.

Texas gave notice of appeal of the dismissal to the Fifth Circuit on Aug. 31, 2017.

On May 25, 2018, the Fifth Circuit granted MALDEF's motion to dismiss itself as a party in the case.

On December 12, 2018, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the claim after full briefing and oral argument. 910 F.3d 809 (5th Cir. 2018). Judge Stephen A. Higginson writing for a three-judge panel affirmed this case's dismissal. It found that the district court lacked federal-question jurisdiction over this case, because section 1331 does not encompass “suits by the States to declare the validity of their regulations despite possibly conflicting federal law." This relied on a 1983 Supreme Court decision in Franchise Tax Board of the State of California v. Construction Laborers Vacation Trust for Southern California. Judge Higginson did not discuss the district court's Article III standing analysis, finding that it was not necessary to reach that issue because of Texas's failure to articulate a federal question in this suit.

The Fifth Circuit formally notified the district court of this decision in January 2019. The case remains open in the district court but no further action is anticipated; this case is effectively closed.

Jamie Kessler - 07/31/2017
Virginia Weeks - 05/30/2018
Veronica Portillo Heap - 04/07/2019


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Federalism
Unreasonable search and seizure
General
Funding
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
ICE/DHS/INS raid
Sanctuary city/state
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) City of Austin
El Paso County
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
Texas Organizing Project Education Fund
Travis County
Plaintiff Description State of Texas
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filing Year 2017
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing IM-TX-0046 : El Paso County v. State of Texas (W.D. Tex.)
IM-TX-0045 : City of El Cenizo v. State of Texas (W.D. Tex.)
IM-TX-0047 : City of San Antonio v. Texas (W.D. Tex.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  #StopSB4
Texas Civil Rights Project
Date: Jun. 27, 2017
By: Texas Civil Rights Project
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  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)
1:17-cv-00425 (W.D. Tex.)
IM-TX-0044-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/28/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
17-50763 (U.S. Court of Appeals)
IM-TX-0044-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/28/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
City of Austin's Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 16]
IM-TX-0044-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/24/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Travis County and Sheriff Sally Hernandez's Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) and Motion for Expedited Ruling [ECF# 18]
IM-TX-0044-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Travis County and Sheriff Sally Hernandez's Amended Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) and Request to Expedite Ruling [ECF# 19]
IM-TX-0044-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgment [ECF# 23]
IM-TX-0044-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/31/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants Travis County and Sheriff Sally Hernandez's Motion to Dismiss First Amended Complaint Pursuant to F.R.C.P. 12(b)(1) and Request to Expedite Ruling [ECF# 26]
IM-TX-0044-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/02/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
City of Austin's Amended Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 27]
IM-TX-0044-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/02/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Voluntary Dismissal Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P 41(a)(1)(A)(i) [ECF# 53]
IM-TX-0044-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/16/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Dismiss by Defendants City of El Cenizo, Texas, Raul L. Reyes, Maverick County, Tom Schmerber, and Mario A. Hernandez [ECF# 60]
IM-TX-0044-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/28/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Dismiss by Defendants City of El Cenizo, Texas, Raul L. Reyes, Maverick County, Tom Schmerber, and Mario A. Hernandez [ECF# 61]
IM-TX-0044-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/28/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant Texas Organizing Project Education Fund's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint [ECF# 62]
IM-TX-0044-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/28/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
The County of El Paso and Sheriff Richard Wiles' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 64]
IM-TX-0044-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/29/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Motion to Dismiss by Defendants City of El Cenizo, Texas, Raul L. Reyes, Maverick County, Tom Schmerber, Mario A. Hernandez, and League of United Latin American Citizens [ECF# 65]
IM-TX-0044-0019.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/29/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Response in Opposition to Defendants' Motions to Dismiss [ECF# 71]
IM-TX-0044-0020.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/12/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant Texas Organizing Project Education Fund's Reply in Support of Its Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 72]
IM-TX-0044-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/19/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [granting motion to dismiss] [ECF# 74] (2017 WL 3433540) (W.D. Tex.)
IM-TX-0044-0022.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 08/09/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief for Plaintiffs-Appellants [Ct. of App. ECF# 00514279155]
IM-TX-0044-0023.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/19/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Response Brief of Defendants-Appellees [Ct. of App. ECF# 00514351542]
IM-TX-0044-0024.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/16/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reply Brief for Plaintiffs-Appellants [Ct. of App. ECF# BL-81]
IM-TX-0044-0025.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/16/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Sparks, Sam (W.D. Tex.) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0022 | IM-TX-0044-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Hacker, David J. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0008 | IM-TX-0044-0014 | IM-TX-0044-0020 | IM-TX-0044-9000 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Keller, Scott A. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0023 | IM-TX-0044-0025
Leonie, Andrew D. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0008 | IM-TX-0044-0014 | IM-TX-0044-0020 | IM-TX-0044-9000
Mateer, Jeffrey C. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0008 | IM-TX-0044-0014 | IM-TX-0044-0020 | IM-TX-0044-0023 | IM-TX-0044-0025 | IM-TX-0044-9000
McCarty, Darren L. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0008 | IM-TX-0044-0014 | IM-TX-0044-0020 | IM-TX-0044-9000
Nimocks, David A. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0008 | IM-TX-0044-0014 | IM-TX-0044-0020 | IM-TX-0044-9000
Paxton, Ken (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0008 | IM-TX-0044-0014 | IM-TX-0044-0020 | IM-TX-0044-0023 | IM-TX-0044-0025 | IM-TX-0044-9000
Starr, Brantley D. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0008 | IM-TX-0044-0014 | IM-TX-0044-0020 | IM-TX-0044-9000
Stonedale, Joel (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0014 | IM-TX-0044-0020 | IM-TX-0044-9000
Sullivan, John C. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0023 | IM-TX-0044-0025 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Toth, Michael C. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0008 | IM-TX-0044-0014 | IM-TX-0044-0020 | IM-TX-0044-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Amdur, Spencer (New York) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0015 | IM-TX-0044-0016 | IM-TX-0044-0019 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Bono, Marisa (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-9000
Champion, Cassandra Lang (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0017 | IM-TX-0044-0021 | IM-TX-0044-9000
Coppola, Christopher John (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0002 | IM-TX-0044-0004 | IM-TX-0044-0005 | IM-TX-0044-0011 | IM-TX-0044-0012 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9000 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Dummer, David W. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-9000
Eiserloh, Laurie R (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0004 | IM-TX-0044-0005 | IM-TX-0044-0011 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9000 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Escamilla, David A. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0004 | IM-TX-0044-0005 | IM-TX-0044-0011
Garcia, Yolanda C. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-9000
Garza, Jose (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0018 | IM-TX-0044-9000 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Gelernt, Lee (New York) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0015 | IM-TX-0044-0016 | IM-TX-0044-0019 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Hicks, Max Renea (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0015 | IM-TX-0044-0016 | IM-TX-0044-0019 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9000 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Jadwat, Omar C. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0015 | IM-TX-0044-0016 | IM-TX-0044-0019 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Kang, Stephen B. (California) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0015 | IM-TX-0044-0016
Labadie, Tim (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0004 | IM-TX-0044-0005 | IM-TX-0044-0011 | IM-TX-0044-9000
Marziani, Mimi Murray Digby (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0017 | IM-TX-0044-0021 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9000 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Moran, Michael Patrick (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0018 | IM-TX-0044-9000
Moreno, Celina Ysela (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-9000
Morgan, Anne L. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0024
Nelson, Anthony J. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0004 | IM-TX-0044-0005 | IM-TX-0044-0011 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9000 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Olivares, Efren Carlos (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0017 | IM-TX-0044-0021 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9000 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Perales, Nina (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0011 | IM-TX-0044-9000
Riley, Meghan L. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0024
Saldivar, Edgar (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0015 | IM-TX-0044-0016 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Sanchez, Jose F. (California) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-9000
Segura, Andre Ivan (New York) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0015 | IM-TX-0044-0016 | IM-TX-0044-0019 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Siegel, Michael (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0002 | IM-TX-0044-0004 | IM-TX-0044-0005 | IM-TX-0044-0011 | IM-TX-0044-0012 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9000 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Talley, Sharon (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9000
Thomas, Sherine Elizabeth (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0004 | IM-TX-0044-0005 | IM-TX-0044-0011 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9000 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Trigilio, Trisha (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9000 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Vera, Luis R. Jr. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0015 | IM-TX-0044-0016 | IM-TX-0044-0019 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9000 | IM-TX-0044-9001
Wang, Cecillia D (California) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0015 | IM-TX-0044-0016
Wofsy, Cody H. (California) show/hide docs
IM-TX-0044-0015 | IM-TX-0044-0016 | IM-TX-0044-0024 | IM-TX-0044-9001

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