University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Civil Clinic and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection IM-OH-0004
Docket / Court 3:15-cv-833 ( N.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
On November 18, 2014, plaintiffs, the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Civil Clinic, which provides no-cost civil legal services, and ABLE, a non-profit legal assistance firm, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio under the Freedom of Information ... read more >
On November 18, 2014, plaintiffs, the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Civil Clinic, which provides no-cost civil legal services, and ABLE, a non-profit legal assistance firm, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. §552, against U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Specifically, the plaintiffs allege that the defendant had failed to deliver records regarding the "Sandusky Bay Border Patrol's practices and procedures related to racial profiling" within statutory deadlines imposed under FOIA.

On January 29, 2015, defendant moved to change venue to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on the grounds that defendant had been litigating the Muñiz-Muñiz case in the Northern District of Ohio, and information related to the plaintiff's FOIA request was filed under seal subject to a protective order for that case. Judge Gregory L. Frost found in favor of the defendant, and ordered the venue change on April 28, 2015. 2015 WL 1928736.

Over the following months, the parties discussed and outlined a plan for phased production of documents responsive to the plaintiffs' FOIA request. Judge Jack Zouhary ordered implementation of the plan on July 24, 2015. The plan narrowed the original request of the plaintiffs, separated document production into three phrases, and required that the government provide status reports to the Court at the end of each phase.

On February 24, 2016, the parties jointly moved to have the court determine whether the defendants were able to redact various information including dates, entry landmarks, arrest landmarks, and codes used to decipher landmarks under FOIA exemption 7(E), which exempts disclosure of techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations. On June 1, 2016, the court ordered that the defendant was required to disclose date information but found the landmark information properly redacted.

Production was completed on July 22, 2016, and the parties jointly moved for dismissal with parties bearing their own costs on July 27, 2016. The case was dismissed on July 28, 2016.

Cade Boland - 02/10/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Required disclosure
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Racial profiling
Records Disclosure
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Plaintiff Description Two non-profit legal assistance programs.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2014
Case Closing Year 2016
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:15-cv-00833-JZ (N.D. Ohio)
IM-OH-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/28/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-OH-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/18/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [ECF# 20] (S.D. Ohio)
IM-OH-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/28/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Phased Production Plan [ECF# 31] (N.D. Ohio)
IM-OH-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/24/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Status Report [ECF# 46]
IM-OH-0004-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/20/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Frost, Gregory L. (S.D. Ohio)
IM-OH-0004-0002
Zouhary, Jack (N.D. Ohio)
IM-OH-0004-0003 | IM-OH-0004-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Akbar, Amna A. (Ohio)
IM-OH-0004-0001 | IM-OH-0004-0003 | IM-OH-0004-9000
Cooke, Elizabeth Ilgen (Ohio)
IM-OH-0004-9000
Heller, Mark R. (Ohio)
IM-OH-0004-0001 | IM-OH-0004-9000
Mollo, Eugenio Jr. (Ohio)
IM-OH-0004-0001 | IM-OH-0004-0003 | IM-OH-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dettelbach, Steven M (District of Columbia)
IM-OH-0004-0003
Johnson, Lisa Hammond (Ohio)
IM-OH-0004-0004 | IM-OH-0004-9000
King, Jody L. (Ohio)
IM-OH-0004-9000
Rendon, Carole S. (Ohio)
IM-OH-0004-0004
Rojas, Guillermo J. (Ohio)
IM-OH-0004-0003 | IM-OH-0004-9000
Stark, John J. (Ohio)
IM-OH-0004-9000

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