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Case Name Devitri [later Antouw] v. Cronen IM-MA-0011
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-11842 ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
On Sept. 25, 2017, a group of Christian Indonesian nationals living in the United States filed this lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including its component Boston and Manchester Field Offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Represented by the private ... read more >
On Sept. 25, 2017, a group of Christian Indonesian nationals living in the United States filed this lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including its component Boston and Manchester Field Offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Represented by the private law firm Nixon Peabody, the plaintiffs filed motions for a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and stay of removal, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

The plaintiffs alleged they were long-time residents in the United States. Despite being subject to final orders of removal for years, they had been able to remain in the country and periodically check-in under Orders of Supervision, through a voluntary ICE program called "Operation Indonesian Surrender." According to the plaintiffs, ICE had recently terminated this program. In June 2017, ICE's Boston Field Office instructed plaintiffs to prepare for removal to Indonesia, instead of allowing them time to seek relief in Immigration Court. As Christians, the plaintiffs feared persecution for their minority religious beliefs if they returned to Indonesia. The plaintiffs alleged that ICE's actions violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as the Convention Against Torture (CAT).

Chief Judge Patti B. Saris was assigned to the case. The next day, Sept. 26, Judge Saris held a hearing and then issued a temporary restraining order, enjoining the defendants from removing all named plaintiffs from the United States.

On Sept. 28, 2017, the plaintiffs filed an amended class petition for writs of habeas corpus and mandamus, and an amended complaint. The plaintiffs asked for immediate relief from custody under their Orders of Supervision (absent an individualized finding of danger or flight risk), and certification of a class of similarly-situated individuals who had participated in Operation Indonesian Surrender and now risked imminent deportation. The plaintiffs amended their causes of action to include, in addition to Due Process and CAT, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)'s asylum provisions, the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), and the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act (FARRA).

At the Court's request, the defendants submitted a statement on jurisdiction on Oct. 3, 2017. They argued that under 8 U.S.C. § 1252, the district court lacked jurisdiction over the government's decision to enforce a final removal order, and that jurisdiction lay instead with the Immigration Courts. The defendants also maintained that the district court lacked personal jurisdiction over most of the plaintiffs, who were not in detention and some of whom did not reside in the District. (One plaintiff was detained but had filed a separate habeas petition, Rombot v. Moniz, No. 1:17-cv-11577 (D. Mass. Aug 22, 2017).) Also on Oct. 3, the defendants produced documents relating to Operation Indonesian Surrender.

The plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on Oct. 6, adding more named plaintiffs. Judge Saris held an evidentiary hearing on Oct. 20.

On Nov. 22, the defendants appealed Judge Saris's TRO to the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which opened a new docket (No. 17-2160).

On Nov. 27, Judge Saris issued an order holding that the District Court had subject-matter jurisdiction over all of plaintiffs' claims (except the habeas claim, addressed in Rombot, which she dismissed without prejudice). Judge Saris enjoined defendants from removing plaintiffs until the Court ruled on the preliminary injunction motion or until further order of the Court. 2017 WL 5707528.

On Dec. 20, defendants filed their opposition to plaintiffs' Sept. 25 motion for preliminary injunction and stay of removal. Defendants argued that the District Court lacked jurisdiction over the claims, which an Immigration Court should adjudicate. According to defendants, plaintiffs failed to show that defendants were likely to remove them before proceedings in an Immigration Court, and in the alternative they failed to show they were likely to face torture or death if removed. Plaintiffs replied on Jan. 5.

Judge Saris held a Jan. 17, 2018 hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction and stay of removal. On Feb. 1, she issued an order granting the preliminary injunction. 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16568. She found that, absent a stay, defendants would be likely to deport plaintiffs to Indonesia before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and First Circuit could consider plaintiffs' motions to stay and reopen. Thus plaintiffs were likely to succeed on their claim that they would be denied due process before being removed to a country where they have a credible fear of persecution.

The order stayed defendants from removing any plaintiff from the United States until one of the following occurred:
- a plaintiff failed to file motions to reopen and to stay with the BIA or the Immigration Court after receiving his or her A-file; or
- a plaintiff did file these motions, but the Immigration Court denied them, and the plaintiff failed to appeal the denial to the BIA; or
- a plaintiff did appeal the denial to the BIA, but BIA denied the appeal and the plaintiff failed to appeal this denial to the First Circuit; or
- a plaintiff did appeal the denial to the First Circuit but the First Circuit did not order the stay to continue.

On Mar. 30, defendants appealed the preliminary injunction to the First Circuit, which opened a new docket (No. 18-1281). The district court stayed its proceedings on June 27, pending resolution of the appeal.

On February 6, 2019, a First Circuit panel of Judges Sandra Lynch, William Kayatta, and David Barron dismissed the case because the parties agreed that the terms of the injunction had been met and an appeal was no longer necessary. The panel denied the motion fo vacate. The defendants did not appeal to the Supreme Court, and the case is now closed.

Ava Morgenstern - 04/08/2018
Virginia Weeks - 06/28/2018
Ellen Aldin - 06/03/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
International law
Over/Unlawful Detention
Immigration/Border
Asylum - criteria
Asylum - procedure
Constitutional rights
Convention against Torture
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - judicial review
Deportation - procedure
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
National Origin/Ethnicity
Other
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Asian/Pacific Islander
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description A group of Indonesian Christian nationals in the U.S. subject to final removal orders
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2017 - n/a
Filed 09/25/2017
Case Closing Year 2019
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Devitri v. Cronen
www.aclu.org
Date: Oct. 18, 2017
By: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Devitri v. Cronen
www.aclu-nh.org
Date: Oct. 6, 2017
By: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Hampshire
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:17-cv-11842 (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0011-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/01/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Stay of Removal [ECF# 2]
IM-MA-0011-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/25/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Removal [ECF# 3]
IM-MA-0011-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/25/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Law in Support of Motions for Temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary Injunction, and Stay of Removal [ECF# 4]
IM-MA-0011-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/25/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 14] (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0011-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Order [ECF# 17] (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0011-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Class Petition for Writs of Habeas Corpus and Mandamus and Class Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 22]
IM-MA-0011-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/28/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Renewed Emergency Motion For Clarification of Court's Order [ECF# 28]
IM-MA-0011-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/29/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement on Jurisdiction [With Exhibits] [ECF# 36]
IM-MA-0011-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/03/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Respondents' Notice of Production [With Index and Exhibits] [ECF# 37]
IM-MA-0011-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/03/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Petitioners/Plaintiffs' First Set of Interrogatories to Respondents/Defendants
IM-MA-0011-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/06/2017
Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Deferral of Ruling on Request for Second Emergency Motion for Clarification of Court's Order [ECF# 42] (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0011-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/06/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Class Petition for Writs of Habeas Corpus and Mandamus and Class Complaint For Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 44]
IM-MA-0011-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/06/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 65] (290 F.Supp.3d 86) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0011-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/27/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Response in Opposition to Petitioners' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 68]
IM-MA-0011-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/20/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Petitioners/Plaintiffs' Reply in Further Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction and to Extend Stay of Removal [ECF# 72]
IM-MA-0011-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/05/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order [ECF# 90] (289 F.Supp.3d 287) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0011-0016.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/01/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment [Ct. of App. ECF# 46]
IM-MA-0011-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/06/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Barron, David Jeremiah (First Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0017
Kayatta, William Joseph Jr. (First Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0017
Lynch, Sandra Lea (First Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0017
Saris, Patti B. (D. Mass.) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0001 | IM-MA-0011-0002 | IM-MA-0011-0010 | IM-MA-0011-0013 | IM-MA-0011-0016 | IM-MA-0011-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Balakrishnan, Anand V. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0015 | IM-MA-0011-9000
Bissonnette, Gilles R (New Hampshire) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0015 | IM-MA-0011-9000
Deane, W. Daniel (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0003 | IM-MA-0011-0004 | IM-MA-0011-0005 | IM-MA-0011-0006 | IM-MA-0011-0007 | IM-MA-0011-0011 | IM-MA-0011-0012 | IM-MA-0011-0015 | IM-MA-0011-9000
Gelernt, Lee (New York) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0015 | IM-MA-0011-9000
Lafaille, Adriana (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0015 | IM-MA-0011-9000
Pritchett, Sydney (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0004 | IM-MA-0011-0005 | IM-MA-0011-0006 | IM-MA-0011-0007 | IM-MA-0011-0011 | IM-MA-0011-0012 | IM-MA-0011-0015 | IM-MA-0011-9000
Rabinovitz, Judy (New York) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-9000
Rauseo-Ricupero, Ronaldo (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0004 | IM-MA-0011-0005 | IM-MA-0011-0006 | IM-MA-0011-0007 | IM-MA-0011-0011 | IM-MA-0011-0012 | IM-MA-0011-0015 | IM-MA-0011-9000
Segal, Matthew (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0015 | IM-MA-0011-9000
Warecki, Nathan P. (New Hampshire) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0003 | IM-MA-0011-0004 | IM-MA-0011-0005 | IM-MA-0011-0006 | IM-MA-0011-0007 | IM-MA-0011-0011 | IM-MA-0011-0012 | IM-MA-0011-0015 | IM-MA-0011-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Andrapalliyal, Vinita (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0008 | IM-MA-0011-0009 | IM-MA-0011-0014 | IM-MA-0011-9000
Celone, Michael Anthony (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0009 | IM-MA-0011-9000
Farquhar, Rayford A. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-9000
Peachey, William Charles (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0008 | IM-MA-0011-0009 | IM-MA-0011-0014
Readler, Chad Andrew (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0008 | IM-MA-0011-0009 | IM-MA-0011-0014
Sady, Michael P. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-9000
Silvis, William C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-0008 | IM-MA-0011-0009 | IM-MA-0011-0014 | IM-MA-0011-9000
Other Lawyers Hawkinson, John A (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0011-9000

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