University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Dilley Pro Bono Project v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement IM-DC-0030
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-01055 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center
Case Summary
On June 1, 2017, the Dilley Pro Bono Project, an organization that provides pro bono legal representation to individuals seeking asylum, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component agency, ... read more >
On June 1, 2017, the Dilley Pro Bono Project, an organization that provides pro bono legal representation to individuals seeking asylum, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The case was assigned to Judge Christopher Cooper.

Dilley Pro Bono Project specifically provides legal representation to minors and women confined in the South Texas Family Residential Center, which is in Dilley, Texas. The plaintiff claimed that its First Amendment rights and its clients' right to counsel were violated by a new ICE policy requiring pre-approval of telephonic medical evaluations of people seeking asylum. The plaintiff argued that these medical evaluations were crucial to its ability to represent clients in asylum cases, and that this new hurdle interferes with that representation.

The plaintiff stated that in March 2017, one of its attorneys had her permission to visit the South Texas detention center revoked when she scheduled a telephonic medical evaluation without pre-approval from an ICE agent. ICE then officially issued the pre-approval policy in May. The plaintiff claimed that because it only had two full-time attorneys and four full-time legal assistants at the time, the revocation of one attorney's permission to visit, in addition to the new policy, severely limited its ability to represent clients.

The complaint alleged that the policy and practice of requiring pre-approval unlawfully infringed upon the Dilley Project's First Amendment right to associate with the minors and women in the South Texas detention center, as well as upon those individuals' ability to get adequate counseling. In addition, it alleged that the policy's issuance violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

The plaintiff requested both a preliminary and a permanent injunction; it sought reinstatement of visitation rights for the attorney whose permission to visit had been revoked, as well as an order prohibiting ICE from enforcing the pre-approval policy or implementing other similar restrictions. The plaintiff also sought attorneys’ fees.

The parties entered into settlement discussions on August 11, 2017, and reached an agreement on August 15, 2017. The settlement still allows ICE to implement the policy, but the time frame for responding to pre-approval requests for telephonic medical evaluations is limited to within four business hours after the request is made; a notice of scheduling the appointment should be given two hours in advance. If the request is denied, ICE will provide a detailed explanation for the denial. If the plaintiff disagrees with the decision, then the parties will address jointly and informally any such dispute. In addition, the settlement reinstates the visitation permission for the attorney who had that permission revoked. Each party was to pay their own attorneys' fees.

The Court retained jurisdiction to enforce the settlement until February 15, 2020. That period has passed and the case is now closed.

Sean Whetstone - 05/16/2018
Sam Kulhanek - 04/18/2020


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Counseling
Quality of representation
Immigration/Border
Asylum - procedure
Constitutional rights
Deportation - procedure
Immigration lawyers
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens
Defendant(s) United States
United States
Plaintiff Description The Dilley Pro Bono Project.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2017 - 2020
Filed 06/01/2017
Case Closing Year 2020
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Challenging ICE Interference with Legal Representation at Dilley
American Immigration Council
Date: August 2017
By: American Immigration Council
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:17-cv-1055 (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0030-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/16/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-DC-0030-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/01/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Application for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 2]
IM-DC-0030-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/01/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Settlement [ECF# 25]
IM-DC-0030-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/11/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Motion for Entry of Stipulation and Proposed Order Dismissing Case with Prejudice and Retaining Jurisdiction for the Purpose of Enforcing Settlement [ECF# 26]
IM-DC-0030-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/15/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Proposed Order Dismissing Case with Prejudice and Retaining Jurisdiction for the Purpose of Enforcing Settlement [ECF# 26-1]
IM-DC-0030-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/15/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order Dismissing Case With Prejudice and Retaining Jurisdiction for the Purpose of Settlement [ECF# 27] (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0030-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/16/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Cooper, Christopher Reid (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0030-0005 | IM-DC-0030-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Crow, Melissa E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0030-0001 | IM-DC-0030-0002 | IM-DC-0030-0003 | IM-DC-0030-0004 | IM-DC-0030-0005 | IM-DC-0030-0006 | IM-DC-0030-9000
Davidoff, Amanda Flug (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0030-0001 | IM-DC-0030-0002 | IM-DC-0030-0003 | IM-DC-0030-0004 | IM-DC-0030-0005 | IM-DC-0030-0006 | IM-DC-0030-9000
Ip, Veronica W. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0030-0001 | IM-DC-0030-0002 | IM-DC-0030-0003 | IM-DC-0030-0004 | IM-DC-0030-0005 | IM-DC-0030-0006 | IM-DC-0030-9000
Klapper, Richard H. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0030-0001 | IM-DC-0030-0002 | IM-DC-0030-0003 | IM-DC-0030-0004 | IM-DC-0030-0005 | IM-DC-0030-0006 | IM-DC-0030-9000
Lallinger, Lucas (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0030-0001 | IM-DC-0030-0002 | IM-DC-0030-0003 | IM-DC-0030-0004 | IM-DC-0030-0005 | IM-DC-0030-0006
Scholtz, Rebecca H. (Maryland) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0030-0001 | IM-DC-0030-0002 | IM-DC-0030-0003 | IM-DC-0030-0004 | IM-DC-0030-0005 | IM-DC-0030-0006 | IM-DC-0030-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Fabian, Sarah B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0030-0002 | IM-DC-0030-9000
Peachey, William Charles (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0030-0002
Perez, Elianis N. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0030-0002 | IM-DC-0030-0003 | IM-DC-0030-0004 | IM-DC-0030-0005 | IM-DC-0030-9000
Readler, Chad Andrew (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0030-0002
Silvis, William C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0030-0002
Vuong, Sarah Lake (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0030-0002

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -