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Case Name Amadei v. Duke [later Nielsen] IM-NY-0059
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-05967-NGG-VMS ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Case Summary
On Oct. 12, 2017, nine passengers of a domestic flight sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers asked to see every passenger’s identification prior to deplaning. The plaintiffs brought this challenge pursuant to the Administrative ... read more >
On Oct. 12, 2017, nine passengers of a domestic flight sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers asked to see every passenger’s identification prior to deplaning. The plaintiffs brought this challenge pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and Declaratory Judgment Act, and alleged that the defendants violated the passengers’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, as well as the APA. Represented by the ACLU and the private law firm Covington & Burling, the plaintiffs sought declaratory relief, as well as an injunction restraining the defendants from further such searches and seizures. The suit was brought in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The complaint asserted that on Feb. 22, 2017, at the request of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), CBP officers stopped and searched every passenger on the domestic Delta Airlines flight. Prior to deplaning at New York City’s JFK Airport, CBP officers required all passengers to provide identification. The plaintiffs - all of who were passengers from the flight - stated that the passengers understood they had no option but to comply. Indeed, CBP officers blocked the airplane exit. The plaintiffs argued that the officers had no warrant for the search, nor probable cause that any passenger had committed a crime or reasonable suspicion to justify investigation. The plaintiffs did not consent to any search or seizure. The plaintiffs described the search as frightening and upsetting, and described the officers’ behavior as coercive.

According to the complaint, CBP officers asserted that the incident was part of their routine practice. After media reports on the incident, the complaint indicated that CBP further added that the investigation was part of a search for a particular individual subject to removal from the U.S. The plaintiffs argued, however, that CBP still had not provided a reason for searching every passenger on the flight, especially considering it could have just relied on the flight manifest (passenger list).

The case was assigned to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on Oct. 12, 2017.

On Jan. 16, 2018, the defendants moved to stay discovery pending their anticipated motion to dismiss, a request which Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon denied on Jan. 25. On Mar. 9, the defendants filed their motion to dismiss.

A status conference is scheduled for Sept. 9, and fact discovery closes on Oct. 31. The case is ongoing.

Virginia Weeks - 12/07/2017
Virginia Weeks - 01/30/2018
Ava Morgenstern - 05/05/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
General
False arrest
Search policies
Immigration/Border
Border police
Constitutional rights
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
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 Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description Nine Delta Airlines domestic flight passengers
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Amadei v. Duke
https://www.aclu.org/
Date: Oct. 12, 2017
By: American Civil Liberties Union
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:17-cv-05967-NGG-VMS (E.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0059-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/07/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-NY-0059-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/12/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Garaufis, Nicholas (E.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0059-9000
Scanlon, Vera M. Court not on record [Magistrate]
IM-NY-0059-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Choe, Samantha J. (California)
IM-NY-0059-9000
Eiland, Katrina L. (California)
IM-NY-0059-0001 | IM-NY-0059-9000
Handeyside, Hugh (New York)
IM-NY-0059-0001
Picker, Joshua Benjamin (New York)
IM-NY-0059-0001 | IM-NY-0059-9000
Qadir, Lala R. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0059-9000
Roman, Neil Kenneth (New York)
IM-NY-0059-0001 | IM-NY-0059-9000
Shin, Clara J. (California)
IM-NY-0059-9000
Wang, Cecillia D (California)
IM-NY-0059-0001 | IM-NY-0059-9000

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