University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
view search results
page permalink
Case Name Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security IM-CO-0011
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-00302-RPM ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Case Summary
On Feb. 7, 2018, the Colorado-based nonprofit organization Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) filed this suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The ... read more >
On Feb. 7, 2018, the Colorado-based nonprofit organization Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) filed this suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The plaintiff was an organization "dedicated to protecting and defending the civil rights of individuals and educating the public concerning civil rights issues." Represented by its own counsel and by the private law firm Ballard Spahr, the plaintiff filed this suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

According to the plaintiff, DHS operated many immigrant detention centers nationwide, including one in Adelanto, CA (the Adelanto Detention Facility [ADF]) in contract with the private-prison corporation GEO Group, and one in Gadsen, AL (the Etowah County Detention Center [ECDC]) in contract with the county sheriff's office. In both facilities, many detainees had alleged substandard conditions including inadequate medical care and mental health care, solitary confinement, and sexual assault. These conditions allegedly led to the death of detained individuals. The plaintiff sought information on conditions of confinement and the individuals detained at these facilities to inform public debate on the issue.

The plaintiff alleged that it had submitted several FOIA requests to ICE on Aug. 15 and Sept. 29, 2017, seeking records related to both the detention centers. The complaint further claimed that, to date, the plaintiff had not received a substantive response from any of the defendant agencies and that the plaintiff had constructively exhausted all required administrative remedies. The plaintiff sought a disclosure order under FOIA, legal fees, and expedited action.

On Feb. 7, 2018, this case was assigned to Judge Richard P. Matsch. The plaintiff filed an amended complaint on June 29. In the amended complaint, the plaintiff included additional facilities run by DHS whose agency records and data had not been made public despite plaintiffs’ FOIA requests. These facilities included the Denver Contract Detention Facility, located in Aurora, Colorado, which was operated by the defendants pursuant to a contract with GEO. Additionally, the Theo Lacy Facility, located in Orange County, California, was also added to the complaint. There, too, the defendants refused to make public agency records in response to the plaintiff's FOIA requests. The Theo Lacy Facility was operated by the defendants through a contract with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. The plaintiff alleged that both facilities have been the subject of numerous complaints, investigations by nongovernmental civil rights organizations, and reports concerning substandard conditions of confinement.

The plaintiff also alleged noncompliance with a FOIA request seeking agency records as to the conditions of confinement at all facilities used by ICE for the detention of individuals during their immigration proceedings. The plaintiff claimed that the defendants exceeded the mandated statutory deadline as to all FOIA requests submitted as of the time of the filing of the first amended complaint. Accordingly, the plaintiff requested that the court declare the defendants' withholding of the requested records unlawful and enjoin any further noncompliance. Further, the plaintiff requested that the court order the defendants to make the records subject to the FOIA requests in controversy available and award the plaintiff costs and attorneys’ fees.

On May 30, 2019 this suit was reassigned to Judge John L. Kane. The plaintiff moved for leave to file Second Amended Complaint on July 5, 2019. The defendants responded in opposition to the motion on Aug. 9, 2019.

On Sept. 16, 2019, the plaintiff and defendants filed a Joint Notice of Potential Partial Settlement. While tentative, the proposal indicates that the plaintiff may withdraw its Motion for Sanctions and the discovery Order to Produce Documents. It would also end the litigation surrounding the Plaintiff’s Opposed Motion for Leave to File a Second Amended Complaint. The details of the possible settlement are not yet clear.

On January 16, 2019, Judge Kane ordered that the parties file a joint status report by February 3, 2020, indicating whether it remains necessary for the Court to rule on the plaintiff's pending motions.

Ava Morgenstern - 02/17/2018
Virginia Weeks - 06/29/2018
Mary Novakovic - 11/13/2019
Aaron Gurley - 01/20/2020


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Administrative segregation
Assault/abuse by staff
Conditions of confinement
Placement in detention facilities
Prison Rape Elimination Act
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Immigration/Border
Detention - conditions
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description A civil rights education organization
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
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
Filing Year 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center v. US Department of Homeland Security & US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
www.creeclaw.org
Date: Feb. 7, 2018
By: Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:18-cv-302 (D. Colo.)
IM-CO-0011-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/16/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-CO-0011-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/07/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 19]
IM-CO-0011-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/29/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Kane, John L. Jr. (D. Colo.) show/hide docs
IM-CO-0011-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Fox, Timothy Patrick (Colorado) show/hide docs
IM-CO-0011-0001 | IM-CO-0011-0002 | IM-CO-0011-9000
Gonzales, Amber Rose (Colorado) show/hide docs
IM-CO-0011-0001 | IM-CO-0011-0002 | IM-CO-0011-9000
Jimenez, Chad Phillip (Colorado) show/hide docs
IM-CO-0011-9000
Jordan, Elizabeth B. (Colorado) show/hide docs
IM-CO-0011-0002 | IM-CO-0011-9000
Kelley, Thomas B (Colorado) show/hide docs
IM-CO-0011-0001 | IM-CO-0011-0002 | IM-CO-0011-9000
Zansberg, Steven David (Colorado) show/hide docs
IM-CO-0011-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Brenton, Kyle W. (Colorado) show/hide docs
IM-CO-0011-9000
Kellogg, Ian (Colorado) show/hide docs
IM-CO-0011-9000
Pestal, Mark S. (Colorado) show/hide docs
IM-CO-0011-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
view search results
page permalink

- top of page -