University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Human Rights Watch v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security IM-CA-0117
Docket / Court 4:18-cv-01842-DMR ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Trump Administration FOIA cases
Case Summary
On Mar. 26, 2018, Human Rights Watch filed this lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Represented by private counsel, the ... read more >
On Mar. 26, 2018, Human Rights Watch filed this lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

According to the complaint, the Human Rights Watch is a "non-profit, non-partisan international human rights organization." It sought information on USCIS officers' knowledge of Customs and Border Protection (CBP)'s alleged due process violations toward asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexican border.

The plaintiff stated that it had submitted a FOIA request to the defendants on Nov. 17, 2015, seeking the following records from Oct. 1, 2006 to the present:
"[A]ll records held by the USCIS Asylum Division and prepared by USCIS asylum officers relating to, and/or mentioning or referring to alleged due process violations or other alleged misconduct by Customs and Border Protection (CBP)[,] [specifically] any alleged or asserted due process Violations; alleged conduct inconsistent or in violation of agency policy or regulations; alleged conduct outside the scope of the law, allegations that CBP failed to record fear of return expressed by migrants at the border; and alleged intimidation, coercion and physical abuse. This request include[s] all Records referring to due process violations by CBP agents discovered by Asylum officers during credible fear interviews with noncitizens."

The complaint alleged that the defendants' productions were substantially flawed with many omissions. The plaintiff further alleged that it had constructively exhausted all required administrative remedies, and that the defendants violated the APA by failing to timely respond. The plaintiff and sought a disclosure order under FOIA, legal fees, and expedited action.

On Mar. 26, 2018, this case was assigned to Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu. A case management statement is due July 11 with an initial conference on July 18.

This case is ongoing.

Ava Morgenstern - 04/07/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Excessive force
Government Services (specify)
Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Personal injury
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
Immigration/Border
Admission - procedure
Asylum - procedure
Border police
Status/Classification
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description A human rights organization.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Rights Group Sues DHS For Info On Asylum Seekers
www.law360.com
Date: Mar. 26, 2018
By: Kevin Penton (Law360)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
4:18-cv-01842-DMR (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0117-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0117-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/26/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Ryu, Donna Miae Court not on record
IM-CA-0117-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Fletes, Christina E. (California)
IM-CA-0117-0001
Richards, Matthew A. (California)
IM-CA-0117-0001 | IM-CA-0117-9000

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