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Case Name Lopez-Venegas v. Napolitano IM-CA-0112
Docket / Court 13-cv-03972 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU of Southern California
Case Summary
On June 4, 2013, plaintiffs, natives of Mexico who had agreed to voluntary departure from the United States, filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California under the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"), 8 U.S.C. §1101 and state law against the ... read more >
On June 4, 2013, plaintiffs, natives of Mexico who had agreed to voluntary departure from the United States, filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California under the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"), 8 U.S.C. §1101 and state law against the acting director of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") and Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"). The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant's agencies in southern California violated INA and their Fifth Amendment due process rights by coercing plaintiffs into accepting voluntary departure through misstatements, omissions, threats, and/or pressure, in violation of defendants' own regulations.

On June 14, 2013, the defendants filed their response and over the next few months, filed a motion to change venue and a motion to dismissed. On November 5, 2013, the plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction. On December 4, 2013, the parties began settlement negotiations. On December 9, 2013, the Court (Judge John A. Kronstadt) referred the case to Magistrate Judge Paul L. Abrams to provide oversight over settlement conferences.

On January 1, 2015, the parties moved for final settlement approval, and on March 11, 2015, Judge John A. Kronstadt certified the class settlement.

The final certification of the class was defined as:

All Individuals who returned to Mexico pursuant to a Qualifying Voluntary Return between June 1, 2009 and August 28, 2014, and who are described in both paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section:
(a) Based on the facts as they existed at the time of his or her Qualifying Voluntary Return, the Individual:
(i) Last entered the United States with inspection prior to his or her Qualifying Voluntary Return and satisfied the non-discretionary criteria for submitting an approvable application to adjust status under 8 U.S.C. § 1255(a), based on a bona fide immediate relative relationship defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1151(b)(2)(A)(i);
(ii) Was the beneficiary of a properly filed Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative based on a bona fide family relationship, which was pending or approved at the time of the Qualifying Voluntary Return;
(iii) Satisfied the non-discretionary criteria to apply for cancellation of removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1229b; or (iv) His or her Qualifying Voluntary Return occurred on or after June 15, 2012, and he or she satisfied the non-discretionary criteria for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") listed on page one of the June 15, 2012 memorandum from former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano; and
(b) At the time of application for class membership, the Individual:
(i) Is physically present within Mexico; and
(ii) Is inadmissible under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(9)(B), due to his or her Qualifying Voluntary Return**, except that this requirement does not apply to an Individual seeking recognition as Class Member under Paragraph (a)(i) above.

**"Qualifying Voluntary Return" was defined as "any Voluntary Return that occurred within the Relevant Area during the period starting June 1, 2009, and ending on the date of the District Court's Preliminary Approval of the Classwide Settlement."

In exchange for the release of all claims for injunctive and declaratory relief against defendants, the defendants agreed that for a period of 180 days, they would accept applications from class members who wanted to return to the United States. If the application was granted, the class member could physically return to the United States and would be placed in the same position with regard to immigration law and regulation as they were prior to their Qualifying Voluntary Return. The defendants were responsible for class member notification costs up to the lower of 50% of total costs or $150,000, with the class counsel responsible for the remaining amount. Class counsel was awarded $700,000 in attorneys' fees and costs.

There has been no action on the docket since April 22, 2016 and the case is likely closed.

Cade Boland - 02/02/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Recordkeeping
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Family reunification
Immigration/Border
Border police
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - procedure
Status/Classification
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
State law
Defendant(s) Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Department of Homeland Security
US Customs and Border Protection
Plaintiff Description Natives of Mexico who agreed to voluntary departure.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU of Southern California
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filing Year 2013
Case Closing Year 2016
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Docket(s)
13-cv-03972 (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0112-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/22/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus [ECF# 28]
IM-CA-0112-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/02/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Re: Representative Class Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorneys Fees and Costs and Motion for Settlement Approval of Class-Wide Portions of Agreement [ECF# 104] (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0112-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/25/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Final Judgment [ECF# 106] (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0112-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/11/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Kronstadt, John Arnold (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0112-0002 | IM-CA-0112-0003 | IM-CA-0112-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Arulanantham, Ahilan T (California)
IM-CA-0112-0001 | IM-CA-0112-9000
Chavez, Lucero (California)
IM-CA-0112-0001 | IM-CA-0112-9000
Ebadolahi, Mitra (California)
IM-CA-0112-9000
Helzer, Belinda Escobosa (California)
IM-CA-0112-0001 | IM-CA-0112-9000
Loy, John David (California)
IM-CA-0112-9000
Riordan, Sean (California)
IM-CA-0112-0001 | IM-CA-0112-9000
Rivera, Gabriela (California)
IM-CA-0112-9000
Stiegler, Anthony Michael (California)
IM-CA-0112-9000
Tilly, Darcie Allison (California)
IM-CA-0112-9000
Vakili, Bardis (California)
IM-CA-0112-0001 | IM-CA-0112-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Chen, Hans (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0112-9000
Defoe, Craig Andrew (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0112-9000
Riedel, Durwood (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0112-9000
Robins, Jeffrey S (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0112-9000

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