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Case Name Innovation Law Lab v. Nielsen IM-OR-0007
Docket / Court 3:18-cv-01098 ( D. Or. )
State/Territory Oregon
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
Case Summary
On June 22, 2018, Innovation Law Lab and an immigration detainee at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Sheridan filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Oregon. The plaintiffs sued the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DSHS), the Acting Director of Immigration and ... read more >
On June 22, 2018, Innovation Law Lab and an immigration detainee at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Sheridan filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Oregon. The plaintiffs sued the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DSHS), the Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Acting Field Office Director for the Seattle office of ICE, the Attorney General of the United States, Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Warden of FDC Sheridan in their official capacities. They filed their claims under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), and also included a petition for habeas corpus alleging that the detainees at Sheridan were unlawfully denied their rights under the First and Fifth Amendments. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU of Oregon and private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, the plaintiffs sought (1) a declaration that the defendants were in violation of the APA, INA, and constitutional law; (2) that the detainees be released unless they receive adequate attorney access; (3) installation of telephones in the detainee’s units; and (4) attorneys' fees. The plaintiffs claimed Innovation Lab's attorneys had been repeatedly denied access to the detainees at Sheridan, which prevented it from communicating with clients or conducting intake interviews and “know-your-rights” trainings. Additionally, prisoners lacked telephone access or any other meaningful forms of communication with the outside world. The plaintiffs' complaint was accompanied by a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) requesting immediate access to prisoners and installation of telephone lines.

The District Judge issued an order on June 25, 2018 for a TRO of 28 days, which instructed the defendants to provide adequate access to counsel for detainees at Sheridan and to install telephones in the detainees' units capable of making free calls to legal counsel. Significantly, the judge ordered that detainees could not undergo the asylum interview process until they had received either a know-your-rights training or consulted with legal counsel. Additionally, when detainees' asylum interviews were scheduled, the court required that the Federal Public Defender’s office as well as any representative counsel must be given timely notice of the proceedings.

The TRO was extended by seven days until July 30, 2018, and the plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction on July 22, 2018. They argued that the 35-day time period had not been sufficient to give constitutionally adequate counsel to the detainees at Sheridan. The plaintiffs requested continued access to the detainees but no longer requested a suspension of removal proceedings or asylum interviews. The District Judge approved the motion and ordered a preliminary injunction requiring continued adequate access to legal counsel for the detainees. Additionally, detainees would not be transferred outside Oregon without the consent of their counsel or prior leave of the court.

On October 5, 2018 the court approved the plaintiffs' motion to amend the preliminary injunction to reduce the number of attorney visitation rooms requested.

On December 4, 2018 the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit because no detainees remained at Sheridan. 97% of the detainees had been released to pursue their immigration court proceedings in a non-detained setting after receiving Innovation Law Lab legal counsel. One detainee successfully secured asylum and a final detainee was denied asylum and transferred to to FCI Tacoma while he pursued appellate options.

This case is now closed.

Carter Powers Beggs - 10/16/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Conditions of confinement
Confinement/isolation
Habeas Corpus
Phone
Immigration/Border
Asylum - procedure
Detention - procedures
Immigration lawyers
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Homeland Security
FCI Sheridan Medium Security Prison
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Seattle Field Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Attorney General
Plaintiff Description Innovation Law Labs, a Portland based legal advocacy group, and a detainee at Sheridan prison
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration 2018 - 2018
Filing Year 2018
Case Closing Year 2018
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:18-cv-1098 (D. Or.)
IM-OR-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/25/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-OR-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/22/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order Granting Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 23] (310 F.Supp.3d 1150) (D. Or.)
IM-OR-0007-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/25/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order Granting Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 54] (342 F.Supp.3d 1067) (D. Or.)
IM-OR-0007-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/31/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Simon, Michael Howard (D. Or.) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0007-0002 | IM-OR-0007-0003 | IM-OR-0007-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dahab, Nadia H. (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0007-0001 | IM-OR-0007-9000
dos Santos, Mathew W. (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0007-0001 | IM-OR-0007-9000
Ketterling, Keith A. (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0007-0001 | IM-OR-0007-9000
Simon, Kelly K. (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0007-0001 | IM-OR-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Schweiner, Dianne (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0007-9000
ul-Haq, Ubaid (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0007-9000
Other Lawyers Hay, Lisa (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0007-9000

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