University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
view search results
page permalink
Case Name Northwest Immigrants Rights Project (NWIRP) v. Sessions IM-WA-0034
Docket / Court 2:17-cv-00716 ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Immigration Enforcement Orders
Attorney Organization Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
Case Summary
On May 8, 2017, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) filed this lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ), Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. NWIRP challenged the “cease and desist” letter NWIRP had ... read more >
On May 8, 2017, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) filed this lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ), Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. NWIRP challenged the “cease and desist” letter NWIRP had received from the DOJ five weeks prior. The letter instructed NWIRP to stop assisting unrepresented immigrants in deportation proceedings. In addition to claiming that the DOJ’s order violated the First and Tenth amendments and seeking declarative and injunctive relief, NWIRP also filed a motion for temporary restraining order (TRO). NWIRP alleged that the DOJ order infringed on the free speech of NWIRP lawyers by prohibiting their ability to screen, consult with, advise, or otherwise assist immigrants in need of legal services without taking each one on as a client. The case was assigned to Judge Richard A. Jones.

After hearing oral arguments, Judge Jones granted NWIRP’s motion for TRO on May 17, 2017, and temporarily restrained the DOJ from enforcing—or threatening to enforce—sanctions against NWIRP lawyers who consult or offer limited services to pro se immigrants in deportation proceedings. Judge Jones further granted the TRO on a nationwide basis, precluding the DOJ from issuing cease-and-desist letters to other non-profit organizations providing legal services to immigrants. The TRO was set to remain in effect until the Court ruled on NWIRP’s planned motion for a preliminary injunction.

NWIRP moved for preliminary injunction on Jun. 8, arguing that the TRO should be extended until there was a full trial on the merits. A hearing on the motion was held on Jul. 24, and Judge Jones granted the preliminary injunction on Jul. 27. The order stated that NWIRP is likely to succeed on the merits of its First Amendment claim because the Government's regulation fails to meet strict and intermediate scrutiny. The court argued that "the Government may not regulate in a way that chills the ability of non-profit organizations to obtain meaningful access to the courts, especially when that access is sought to advance civil-rights objectives. In this context, the Government may regulate 'only with narrow specificity'... The Government has not done so in this instance." Further, the court argued that "the Government has failed to advance any substantial regulatory interest, in the form of substantive evils flowing from NWIRP’s activities, which can justify the broad prohibitions which it has imposed."

DOJ filed a motion to dismiss on Aug. 4. They argued that the six-year statute of limitations for civil actions against the United States barred the plaintiffs' claims. They further argued that the plaintiffs' First Amendment claim fails because "the immigration courts...are a nonpublic forum where the government is permitted to regulate speech in a reasonable and viewpoint-neutral manner." Finally, the defendants argued the plaintiffs' Tenth Amendment claim fails because EOIR rules prevail if they come in conflict with state rules "so that the agency can consistently regulate practice across the nation." The DOJ also filed a motion to stay discovery pending the Court's review of their motion to dismiss, but the court denied a stay on Sept. 18.

The case is ongoing, and the preliminary injunction remains in effect while the court adjudicates the issues more fully.

Amanda Grill - 05/25/2017
Virginia Weeks - 09/19/2017
Jamie Kessler - 09/10/2017


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Immigration/Border
Immigration lawyers
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Bivens
Defendant(s) Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, non-profit organization
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2017 - n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  Memorandum on Rescission Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
www.dhs.gov
Date: Sep. 5, 2017
By: Department of Homeland Security (Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  NWIRP v. Sessions
https://www.nwirp.org/
Date: Jul. 30, 2017
By: Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (Northwest Immigrant 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)
2:17-cv-00716-RAJ (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0034-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/01/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Press Release
IM-WA-0034-0003.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 05/08/2017
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-WA-0034-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 05/08/2017
Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 2]
IM-WA-0034-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 14]
IM-WA-0034-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/11/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Reply in Further Support of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 21]
IM-WA-0034-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/12/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [granting TRO] [ECF# 33] (2017 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 75433) (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0034-0006.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/17/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 37]
IM-WA-0034-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/08/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Declaration of Jorge L. Baron in Support of NWIRP's Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 38]
IM-WA-0034-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/08/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Declaration of Jamie Drozd Allen In Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 39]
IM-WA-0034-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/08/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 47]
IM-WA-0034-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Declaration of Print Maggard [ECF# 48]
IM-WA-0034-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Declaration of Jennifer Barnes [ECF# 49]
IM-WA-0034-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Declaration of Steven Lang [ECF# 50]
IM-WA-0034-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reply in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 52]
IM-WA-0034-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/30/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Declaration of Elizabeth Benki [ECF# 53]
IM-WA-0034-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/30/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Declaration of Jorge L. Baron in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 54]
IM-WA-0034-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/30/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [granting motion for PI] [ECF# 66] (2017 WL 3189032) (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0034-0014.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/27/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Motion to Stay Discovery Pending Resolution of Their Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 69]
IM-WA-0034-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/10/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 75]
IM-WA-0034-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/28/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Reply In Support of Their Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 77]
IM-WA-0034-0022.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/01/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Jones, Richard A. (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0034-0006 | IM-WA-0034-0014 | IM-WA-0034-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adams, Matthew (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-0001 | IM-WA-0034-0002 | IM-WA-0034-0005 | IM-WA-0034-0007 | IM-WA-0034-0012 | IM-WA-0034-0021 | IM-WA-0034-9000
Allen, Jaime Drozd (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-0001 | IM-WA-0034-0002 | IM-WA-0034-0005 | IM-WA-0034-0007 | IM-WA-0034-0012 | IM-WA-0034-0016 | IM-WA-0034-0021 | IM-WA-0034-9000
Corning, James Harlan (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-0001 | IM-WA-0034-0002 | IM-WA-0034-0005 | IM-WA-0034-0007 | IM-WA-0034-0012 | IM-WA-0034-0021 | IM-WA-0034-9000
Kang, Leila (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-0001 | IM-WA-0034-0002 | IM-WA-0034-0005 | IM-WA-0034-0007 | IM-WA-0034-0012 | IM-WA-0034-0021 | IM-WA-0034-9000
Madrid, Glenda Melinda Aldana (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-0001 | IM-WA-0034-0002 | IM-WA-0034-0005 | IM-WA-0034-0007 | IM-WA-0034-0012 | IM-WA-0034-0021 | IM-WA-0034-9000
Miller, Robert E. (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-0001 | IM-WA-0034-0002 | IM-WA-0034-0005 | IM-WA-0034-0007 | IM-WA-0034-0012 | IM-WA-0034-0021 | IM-WA-0034-9000
Radosevich, Michele (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-0001 | IM-WA-0034-0002 | IM-WA-0034-0005 | IM-WA-0034-0007 | IM-WA-0034-0012 | IM-WA-0034-0021 | IM-WA-0034-9000
Williams, Laura-Lee S. (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-0001 | IM-WA-0034-0002 | IM-WA-0034-0005 | IM-WA-0034-0007 | IM-WA-0034-0012 | IM-WA-0034-0021 | IM-WA-0034-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Mercado-Santana, Victor M. (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0034-0004 | IM-WA-0034-0009 | IM-WA-0034-0018 | IM-WA-0034-0022 | IM-WA-0034-9000
Peachey, William Charles (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0034-0004 | IM-WA-0034-0009 | IM-WA-0034-0018 | IM-WA-0034-0022
Readler, Chad A. (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0034-0004 | IM-WA-0034-0009 | IM-WA-0034-0018 | IM-WA-0034-0022
Sheffield, Carlton F. (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0034-0004 | IM-WA-0034-0009 | IM-WA-0034-0018 | IM-WA-0034-0022 | IM-WA-0034-9000
Shinners, Katherine J. (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0034-0004 | IM-WA-0034-0009
Steffens Guzman, Gladys M. (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0034-0004 | IM-WA-0034-0009 | IM-WA-0034-0018 | IM-WA-0034-0022 | IM-WA-0034-9000
Westwater, Gisela Ann (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0034-0004 | IM-WA-0034-0009 | IM-WA-0034-0018 | IM-WA-0034-0022 | IM-WA-0034-9000
Other Lawyers Ainsworth, Sara (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Chang, Robert S. (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Clinton, Laura K. (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Connolly, John J. (Maryland)
IM-WA-0034-0018 | IM-WA-0034-9000
Cotton, Rachel F. (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Cox, Sarah (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Davison, Zachary E. (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Ewart, Michael J. (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Greenberg, Benjamin D. (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Hajec, Christopher J. (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Larsen-Bright, Shawn J. (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Lee, Melissa R (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Lo, Tzu-Huan Augustine (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Marquez, Patricio (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Miller, Steven Soloman (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Murphy, Andrew Garcia (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Stephens, Richard M. (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-9000
Theriot-Orr, Devin T. (Washington)
IM-WA-0034-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
view search results
page permalink

- top of page -