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Case Name Alasaad v. Duke IM-MA-0012
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-11730-DJC ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Brennan Center for Justice
Case Summary
On September 13, 2017 ten U.S. citizens and a lawful permanent resident filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The plaintiffs sued the United States Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE� ... read more >
On September 13, 2017 ten U.S. citizens and a lawful permanent resident filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The plaintiffs sued the United States Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) under 28 U.S.C. §2201 for a declaration that the defendants had violated their First and Fourth Amendment rights and to enjoin defendants from searching or confiscating electronic devices without probable cause and expunge all collected information from plaintiffs' devices. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants seized and then searched their electronic devices, containing expressive content and associational content, at the United States border without a warrant demonstrating probable cause that these devices contained contraband or evidence of a violation of immigration or customs laws and without describing the information to be searched.

On December 15, 2017, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss for a lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. On September 13, 2017, District Judge Denise J. Casper denied the motion to dismiss finding that plaintiffs had standing to sue and pled plausible Fourth and First Amendment claims.

On April 30, 2019, the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on all claims. On June 6, 2019, the defendants also filed a motion for summary judgment. On November 12, 2019, District Judge Denise J. Casper granted the plaintiffs' motion in part and denied the defendants' motion. On the plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claims, Judge Casper denied the plaintiff's argument that a warrant was required to search their devices at the border, but Judge Casper found that the defendants' advanced searches of the plaintiffs' devices violated the Fourth Amendment because the policy would have required a reasonable suspicion that the devices contained contraband. Judge Casper also granted summary judgment for certain plaintiffs who argued that the government required probable cause for searches of devices kept by the defendants after the plaintiffs left the border. Judge Casper denied both parties' motions for summary judgment regarding plaintiff's First Amendment claims.

Both parties have appealed to the First Circuit in January 2020. The appeals were docketed as 20-01081 and 20-01077. The case is ongoing.

Nichollas Dawson - 03/05/2018
Ashton Dubey - 11/14/2019
Chandler Hart-McGonigle - 02/20/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Search policies
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Detention - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection
Director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description Ten United States citizens and one permanent resident, all of whom have had electronic devices seized at the United States border.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Brennan Center for Justice
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 09/13/2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Alasaad V. McAleenan: Challenge to Warrantless Phone and Laptop Searches at U.S. Border
https://www.aclu.org/cases/alasaad-v-mcaleenan-challenge-warrantless-phone-and-laptop-searches-us-border
Date: 09/13/2017
By: ACLU
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:17-cv-11730-DJC (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0012-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/15/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-MA-0012-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/13/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 7]
IM-MA-0012-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/13/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 34] (2018 WL 2170323) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0012-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 05/09/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 109] (419 F.Supp.3d 142) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0012-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/12/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Casper, Denise Jefferson (D. Mass.) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-0004 | IM-MA-0012-0005 | IM-MA-0012-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bhandari, Esha (New York) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-0001 | IM-MA-0012-0002 | IM-MA-0012-9000
Cope, Sophia Sabrina (California) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-0001 | IM-MA-0012-0002 | IM-MA-0012-9000
Handeyside, Hugh (New York) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-0001 | IM-MA-0012-0002 | IM-MA-0012-9000
Hussain, Saira (California) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-9000
Mackey, Aaron David (California) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-0001 | IM-MA-0012-0002 | IM-MA-0012-9000
Rossman, Jessie J. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-0001 | IM-MA-0012-0002 | IM-MA-0012-9000
Schwartz, Adam (California) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-0001 | IM-MA-0012-0002 | IM-MA-0012-9000
Segal, Matthew (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-0001 | IM-MA-0012-0002 | IM-MA-0012-9000
Shapanka, Matthew S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-9000
Wessler, Nathan Freed (New York) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-0001 | IM-MA-0012-0002 | IM-MA-0012-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Balakrishna, Annapurna (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-9000
Drezner, Michael Leon (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-9000
Edney, Marsha S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-9000
Other Lawyers Nathanson, David J. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0012-9000

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