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Case Name City of Los Angeles v. Sessions IM-CA-0104
Docket / Court 2:17-cv-07215 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Immigration Enforcement Orders
Case Summary
This action, filed by the City of Los Angeles, California on Sept. 29, 2017, challenged the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)'s imposition of immigration-related conditions on federal funding to the city. Plaintiff, represented by its legal department and the law firm Covington & Burling, filed its ... read more >
This action, filed by the City of Los Angeles, California on Sept. 29, 2017, challenged the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)'s imposition of immigration-related conditions on federal funding to the city. Plaintiff, represented by its legal department and the law firm Covington & Burling, filed its complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.

Los Angeles receives federal funding through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) Program and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program, both administered by DOJ and its component agencies Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). The latest DOJ requirements for FY2017 program funding imposed new conditions on recipient cities, including Los Angeles. One condition was compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1373, which provides that a local government entity cannot prohibit or restrict communication between government entities or officials and federal immigration authorities. The other two conditions required recipients to allow the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to access any correctional or detention facility and question suspected undocumented immigrants about their right to be in the U.S., and to provide DHS at least 48 hours advance notice of any noncitizen's scheduled release from custody.

After several lawsuits challenged these conditions, the federal government was preliminarily enjoined from imposing them on Byrne JAG funding in City of Chicago v. Sessions. DOJ continued to revise these conditions, but Los Angeles believed the revised requirements were ambiguous. Los Angeles alleged that accepting these conditions would force it to abandon its longstanding law enforcement policies, intended to improve cooperation between immigrant residents and municipal police. These policies restrict the city from seeking and disclosing information about residents' immigration status, as well as from honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests without an independent warrant or judicial determination of probable cause.

Los Angeles explained its view that its policies in fact complied with 8 U.S.C. § 1373, but that the notice and access conditions were so ambiguous that DOJ could continue to wrongly deny Los Angeles the funding. Additionally, the city believed that Congress did not intend these immigration-related conditions in either the Byrne JAG statute or the COPS statute. Los Angeles argued that the access and notification requirements would compel it to choose between either submitting to an unconstitutional federal enforcement agenda, or losing critical funds. This violated the U.S. Constitution's Separation of Powers and Spending Clauses (by usurping Congress' ability to set conditions for funding), the Tenth Amendment (by usurping Los Angeles's power over its own municipal policy), and the Administrative Procedure Act (as arbitrary and capricious).

On the same day that it filed the complaint, Los Angeles also moved for a preliminary injunction, pointing to what it described as the irreparable injury from the loss of critical public-safety funds.

The case was assigned to Judge Manuel L. Real on Oct. 2.

On Oct. 4, the parties moved for an expedited briefing schedule, because DOJ expected to make FY2017 COPS funding decisions on or around Oct. 30. Judge Real granted the motion and set defendant's response to be due Oct. 12, plaintiff's reply to be due Oct. 17, and a hearing to be held on Oct. 23.

DOJ, in its response, argued against the preliminary injunction, asserting that plaintiff lacked standing (as it would not have been a successful COPS applicant anyway in FY2017, regardless of the immigration-related factors); that COPS' immigration-related factors were consistent with the program's purposes under the APA; and that DOJ had broad discretion to make the grants.

Los Angeles withdrew its motion for preliminary injunction on Oct. 16. Because DOJ had disclosed that Los Angeles' award application for this cycle would have been unsuccessful even without the immigration-related considerations, Los Angeles decided not to pursue the preliminary injunction. However, Los Angeles maintained its claims and request for permanent relief, because DOJ continued to attach the immigration-related conditions to the COPS program.

On Nov. 21, Los Angeles then moved for partial summary judgment, arguing that DOJ's use of COPS funding conditions violated the separation of powers, the Spending Clause, and the APA as arbitrary and capricious. DOJ responded on Jan. 12 and Los Angeles replied on Jan. 29. On Feb. 1, five counties, seven cities, and the District of Columbia filed amici briefs supporting Los Angeles.

DOJ also moved for partial summary judgment on Jan. 12, arguing that Los Angeles' claims were non-justiciable or, in the alternative, that the funding conditions were consistent with the governing statutes, the Spending Clause, and the APA. Los Angeles responded on Jan. 29 and DOJ replied on Feb. 8.

Judge Real held a motion hearing on Feb. 28, and on Apr. 11 issued an order granting Los Angeles' partial summary judgment motion and denying DOJ's. First, Judge Real held that the case was not moot because Los Angeles' harm was capable of repetition if the City applied for a FY 2018 grant. As to the substantive claims, Judge Real held that the challenged conditions were ultra vires (as federal power infringing on the state police power), in violation of the Spending Clause (because Congress did not unambiguously condition grant receipt on local compliance with federal authorities for a matter not reasonably related to COPS's goal), and in violation of the APA (as arbitrary and capricious without a reasonable basis). Judge Real then permanently enjoined DOJ from imposing the challenged conditions nationwide. In doing so, Judge Real held that Los Angeles would suffer irreparable harm in future grant cycles against its competitors, making a nationwide injunction necessary. The government appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

On May 2, in response to a joint stipulation, Judge Real stayed Los Angeles' Byrne JAG claims pending one of the following events: (a) the nationwide injunction is dissolved, in which case proceedings on these claims will resume; or (b) the case results in a nationwide permanent injunction of the challenged Byrne JAG conditions, after all opportunities for appeal and this claims.

Meanwhile, the appeal proceeded. Briefs from the proceedings in the Ninth Circuit can be found under the documents section here.

This case is ongoing.

Ava Morgenstern - 05/05/2018
Virginia Weeks - 06/10/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Federalism
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Funding
Government Services (specify)
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Public assistance grants
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Immigration/Border
Border police
Constitutional rights
Criminal prosecution
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - procedure
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
ICE/DHS/INS raid
Sanctuary city/state
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
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
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description The City of Los Angeles, California
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Declaratory Judgment
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2018 - n/a
Filing Year 2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  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-7215 (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0104-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/11/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint For Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0104-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/29/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
City of Los Angeles' Notice of Application and Application For Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 7]
IM-CA-0104-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/29/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 33]
IM-CA-0104-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/12/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
City of Los Angeles' Notice of Withdrawal of Application For Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 37]
IM-CA-0104-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/16/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
City of Los Angeles' Memorandum in Support of Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [ECF# 49-1]
IM-CA-0104-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/21/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants’ Notion of Motion and Motion for Partial Summary Judgment; Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [ECF# 53]
IM-CA-0104-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/12/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Notice of Motion and Motion for Partial Summary Judgment; Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [ECF# 54]
IM-CA-0104-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/12/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
City of Los Angeles’ Reply in Support of Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [ECF# 57]
IM-CA-0104-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/29/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
City of Los Angeles' Reply in Support of Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [ECF# 59]
IM-CA-0104-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/29/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reply in Support of Defendants’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [ECF# 69]
IM-CA-0104-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/08/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Denying Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [ECF# 75] (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0104-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/11/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief for Appellants [Ct. of App. ECF# 13]
IM-CA-0104-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/01/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief of Amici Curiae Current and Former Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Leaders in Support of Plaintiff-Appellee and for Affirmance [Ct. of App. ECF# 29]
IM-CA-0104-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/05/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reply Brief for Appellants [Ct. of App. ECF# 33]
IM-CA-0104-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/17/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Chooljian, Jacqueline (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
IM-CA-0104-9000
Real, Manuel Lawrence (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0104-0011 | IM-CA-0104-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Almadani, Monica Marie-Ramirez (California)
IM-CA-0104-0001 | IM-CA-0104-0002 | IM-CA-0104-0004 | IM-CA-0104-0005 | IM-CA-0104-0007 | IM-CA-0104-0009 | IM-CA-0104-9000
Clark, James Patrick (California)
IM-CA-0104-0001 | IM-CA-0104-0002 | IM-CA-0104-0004 | IM-CA-0104-0005 | IM-CA-0104-0007 | IM-CA-0104-0009 | IM-CA-0104-9000
Dundas, Michael Joseph (California)
IM-CA-0104-0001 | IM-CA-0104-0002 | IM-CA-0104-0004 | IM-CA-0104-0005 | IM-CA-0104-0007 | IM-CA-0104-0009 | IM-CA-0104-9000
Feuer, Michael Nelson (California)
IM-CA-0104-0001 | IM-CA-0104-0002 | IM-CA-0104-0004 | IM-CA-0104-0005 | IM-CA-0104-0007 | IM-CA-0104-0009 | IM-CA-0104-9000
Flores, Valerie L. (California)
IM-CA-0104-0001 | IM-CA-0104-0002 | IM-CA-0104-0004 | IM-CA-0104-0005 | IM-CA-0104-0007 | IM-CA-0104-0009 | IM-CA-0104-9000
Kamin, Mitchell A. (California)
IM-CA-0104-0001 | IM-CA-0104-0002 | IM-CA-0104-0004 | IM-CA-0104-0005 | IM-CA-0104-0007 | IM-CA-0104-0009 | IM-CA-0104-9000
Kapur, Leela (California)
IM-CA-0104-0001 | IM-CA-0104-0002 | IM-CA-0104-0004 | IM-CA-0104-0005 | IM-CA-0104-0007 | IM-CA-0104-0009 | IM-CA-0104-9000
Sahni, Neema (California)
IM-CA-0104-0001 | IM-CA-0104-0002 | IM-CA-0104-0004 | IM-CA-0104-0005 | IM-CA-0104-0007 | IM-CA-0104-0009 | IM-CA-0104-9000
Ventresca, Ivano Michael (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-0001 | IM-CA-0104-0002 | IM-CA-0104-0004 | IM-CA-0104-0005 | IM-CA-0104-0007 | IM-CA-0104-0009 | IM-CA-0104-9000
Zionts, David M. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-0001 | IM-CA-0104-0002 | IM-CA-0104-0004 | IM-CA-0104-0005 | IM-CA-0104-0007 | IM-CA-0104-0009 | IM-CA-0104-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Allen, Katherine T. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-0012 | IM-CA-0104-0014
Brown, Sandra R. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-0006 | IM-CA-0104-0008
Burnham, James M (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-9000
Hanna, Nicola T. (California)
IM-CA-0104-0010 | IM-CA-0104-0012 | IM-CA-0104-0014
Hinshelwood, Brad (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-0012 | IM-CA-0104-0014
Readler, Chad A. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-0003 | IM-CA-0104-0006 | IM-CA-0104-0008 | IM-CA-0104-0010 | IM-CA-0104-0012 | IM-CA-0104-0014
Simpson, W. Scott (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-0003 | IM-CA-0104-0006 | IM-CA-0104-0008 | IM-CA-0104-0010 | IM-CA-0104-9000
Stern, Mark B. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-0012 | IM-CA-0104-0014
Tenny, Daniel (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-0012 | IM-CA-0104-0014
Tyler, John Russell (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-0003 | IM-CA-0104-0006 | IM-CA-0104-0008 | IM-CA-0104-0010
Other Lawyers Axelrod, Julie B. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-9000
Badlani, Chirag (Illinois)
IM-CA-0104-0013
Carter, Margaret L. (California)
IM-CA-0104-9000
Crooks, James Wesley (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-9000
Geltzer, Joshua A. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-0013 | IM-CA-0104-9000
Lederer, Caryn C (Illinois)
IM-CA-0104-0013
McCord, Mary B. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-0013
Piers, Matthew J. (Illinois)
IM-CA-0104-0013
Reynolds, Keli M. (California)
IM-CA-0104-9000
Rice, Daniel B. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0104-0013
Suvor, Daniel R (California)
IM-CA-0104-9000

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