University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Washington v. Motel 6 IM-WA-0042
Docket / Court 18-2-00283-4 SEA ( State Court )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
On January 3, 2018, the Washington State filed this action in King County Superior Court. The plaintiffs sued Motel 6, a hotel chain, alleging that hotel employees routinely gave guest information like names, license plate numbers, and birthdays to immigration agents. This information was then used ... read more >
On January 3, 2018, the Washington State filed this action in King County Superior Court. The plaintiffs sued Motel 6, a hotel chain, alleging that hotel employees routinely gave guest information like names, license plate numbers, and birthdays to immigration agents. This information was then used to determine if the guests were wanted in civil immigration matters. The suit alleges that Motel 6 employees violated the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and the Washington Law Against Discrimination.

Specifically, Washington alleged that the employees of several Motel 6 hotels would turn over the guest registry without agents providing documentation, evidence of reasonable suspicion, probable cause, or a search warrant. Motel 6 staff observed ICE identify guests of interest to ICE, including by circling guests with Latino-sounding names. Over 9,000 names had been turned over by Motel 6 staff, resulting in six known detainments. The Washington lawsuit comes after a similar action in Arizona. While Motel 6 implied in those proceedings that the problem was isolated, the Washington suit alleged that this was not the case.

On March 5, 2018, Motel 6 removed the case to federal court under the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a). On May 18, 2018 the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled that Motel 6’s decision to turn over information at its own discretion did not justify a federal forum, and the case was remanded to King County Superior Court.

While this case was still pending, the Arizona class action case settled for $7.6 million, paid to class members whose names were given to ICE. Additionally Motel 6 and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (who represented the plaintiffs in the Arizona case) said in a joint statement that the hotel has prohibited employees from sharing such information with ICE.

On April 3, 2019, the parties entered into a consent decree that Superior Court Judge Dean Lum then approved. The decree mandated that the defendant shall maintain a policy that it will not share guest information with law enforcement without a judicially enforceable subpoena or warrant or without probable cause. The defendants must create procedures and keep records such that the policy is implemented, that employees can adequately comply with the policy, and customers can report when they believe information has been unlawfully shared with law enforcement. The decree was to apply to all hotels operating within the State of Washington. As part of the decree, the defendant paid $12 million into a settlement fund, providing approximately $10,250,000 in restitution to guests affected by the defendant's unlawful practices.

The case is now closed.

Anna Brito - 02/23/2019
Aaron Gurley - 01/28/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
ICE/DHS/INS raid
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Motel 6
Plaintiff Description The State of Washington.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2019 - n/a
Filed 01/03/2018
Case Closing Year 2022
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Consent Decree
IM-WA-0042-0002.pdf | Detail
Date:
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-WA-0042-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/03/2018
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Plaintiff's Lawyers Brenneke, Andrea (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0042-0002
Ferguson, Robert W. (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0042-0001 | IM-WA-0042-0002
Riese, Mitchell A. (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0042-0001 | IM-WA-0042-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Doran, Ambika K. (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-WA-0042-0002

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