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Case Name City of Evanston v. Sessions IM-IL-0022
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-04853 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Immigration Enforcement Orders
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Case Summary
On July 16, 2018, the City of Evanston, Illinois, along with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, filed this lawsuit against the United States Department of Justice. The plaintiffs sought to enjoin the DOJ from imposing three new conditions on the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program ( ... read more >
On July 16, 2018, the City of Evanston, Illinois, along with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, filed this lawsuit against the United States Department of Justice. The plaintiffs sought to enjoin the DOJ from imposing three new conditions on the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne JAG program), a federal grant program that provides crucial support for law enforcement in hundreds of cities nationwide. These three conditions would require that cities (1) give the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 48 hours’ notice (or at least as much notice as practicable) prior to releasing any alien from custody (the “notice condition”); (2) give DHS officials unlimited access to local law enforcement facilities to interrogate any suspected noncitizen held there (the “access condition”); and (3) certify compliance with 8 U.S.C. §§ 1373 and 1644, which bar local governments from withholding immigration status information from the federal government (the “compliance condition”).

The plaintiffs sued the DOJ under the Administrative Procedure Act and the Declaratory Judgment Act, arguing that the DOJ lacked statutory authority to condition Byrne JAG funds on the notice, access, and compliance conditions, and that the conditions were arbitrary and capricious. Additionally, they argued that the three conditions amounted to improper usurpation of Congress’s spending power by the executive branch, thus violating separation of powers. Even if there were no separation-of-powers violation, the plaintiffs argued that Congress could not have authorized the three conditions because they did not satisfy Spending Clause requirements. The conditions also violated the Tenth Amendment’s anti-commandeering principle. The plaintiffs sought a declaration that the DOJ’s requirements were unlawful, and sought an injunction preventing the DOJ from imposing the conditions. The case was originally assigned to Judge Charles R. Norgle, but was shortly thereafter reassigned to Judge Harry D. Leinenweber.

On July 20, 2018 the plaintiffs filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. On August 9, 2018, the court held that the plaintiffs had standing and issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the DOJ from attaching the three challenged conditions to grants awarded to the City of Evanston or to any member of the Conference of Mayors. However, given a pending Seventh Circuit ruling on a nationwide injunction in a parallel case (City of Chicago v. Sessions), the court stayed its injunction as applied to the Conference. The plaintiffs appealed the stay, which was lifted by the Seventh Circuit on August 29, 2018.

On October 5, 2018, the DOJ appealed the grant of the preliminary injunction to the Seventh Circuit. However, the parties filed a joint motion to hold appellate proceedings in abeyance, which was granted on October 15.

On December 10, 2018, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint challenging two additional conditions on Byrne JAG program funding: (1) the “questionnaire condition,” which required a city to answer questions about whether it had any policies about how employees may communicate with DHS or ICE and (2) the “harboring condition,” requiring cities to agree not to violate 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a) (a prohibition on hiding or harboring undocumented immigrants).

On February 11, 2019, the plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judgment. The court held a hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion on April 9, 2019. The DOJ then filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and for lack of jurisdiction, and in the alternative, for summary judgment.

The court denied the DOJ’s motion to dismiss on September 26, 2019. On the same day, the court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment with respect to the notice, access, compliance, and harboring conditions, as well as an additional certification requirement. It granted a declaration that 8 U.S.C. §§1373 and 1644 violated the anti-commandeering doctrine, declaring that “the Attorney General cannot require compliance with these statutes as a condition” of funding. The court also issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the Attorney General from imposing any of the challenged conditions in future grant years. 412 F.Supp.3d 873. The DOJ appealed.

While the appeal was pending, the court granted a plaintiff motion for attorneys’ fees and expenses on April 23, 2020. It awarded $97,546.43 in attorneys’ fees and $283.75 in costs and expenses. On July 2, 2020, the court granted the plaintiffs an additional $21,953.38 in supplemental fees.

As of July 2020, the appeal is currently pending.

Eva Richardson - 05/27/2019
Bogyung Lim - 07/13/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Federalism (including 10th Amendment)
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Funding
Immigration/Border
Sanctuary city/state
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description The City of Evanston, Illinois and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Declaratory Judgment
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2018 - n/a
Filed 07/16/2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Implementation of Executive Order 13768, "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
The Washington Post
Date: May 22, 2017
By: Jefferson Sessions (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Implementing the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Executive Order 13767: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 27, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
Citation: 82 Fed. Reg. Presidential Documents 8793 (Jan. 27, 2017)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Executive Order 13768: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 25, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:18-cv-4853 (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0022-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/06/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-IL-0022-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/16/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 23] (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0022-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/09/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 46]
IM-IL-0022-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/10/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order (412 F.Supp.3d 873) (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0022-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/26/2019
Source: Westlaw
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Judges Leinenweber, Harry Daniel (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0022-0002 | IM-IL-0022-0004 | IM-IL-0022-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bauer, Amie Marie (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0022-9000
Cooper, Kyle Alexander (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0022-0001 | IM-IL-0022-0003 | IM-IL-0022-9000
Fitzgerald, John Matthew (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0022-0001 | IM-IL-0022-0003 | IM-IL-0022-9000
Gaal, Melody L (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0022-0001 | IM-IL-0022-0003 | IM-IL-0022-9000
Haussmann, Brian C. (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0022-0001 | IM-IL-0022-0003 | IM-IL-0022-9000
Masoncup, Michelle Lee (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0022-0001 | IM-IL-0022-0003 | IM-IL-0022-9000
O'Brien, Katherine M. (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0022-0001 | IM-IL-0022-0003 | IM-IL-0022-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Mauler, Daniel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0022-9000
Roberts, Charles E.T. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0022-9000
Rosenberg, Brad P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0022-9000
Other Lawyers Enoch, Craig T. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0022-9000
Hacker, David J. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-IL-0022-9000

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