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Case Name Muthana v. Pompeo IM-DC-0061
Docket / Court 1:19-cv-00445 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
National Security
Case Summary
On February 21, 2019, a former Yemeni diplomat filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. The plaintiff sued President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Attorney General William Barr in their official capacities under the Declaratory Judgement and ... read more >
On February 21, 2019, a former Yemeni diplomat filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. The plaintiff sued President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Attorney General William Barr in their official capacities under the Declaratory Judgement and Mandamus Acts for violations of the Fourteenth Amendment. Represented by the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, the plaintiff sought declaratory, injunctive, and mandamus relief that the U.S. use good faith efforts to ensure his daughter's safe return to the country.

The plaintiff sought to prevent the federal government from depriving his daughter of her citizenship and to require the government to allow her to return to the country. His U.S.-born daughter and his grandson were located at Camp Roj in Syria. The plaintiff claimed that the U.S.'s failure to use reasonable efforts to facilitate the return of his daughter and grandson as obligated under both the Constitution and the Fourth Geneva Convention would cause immediate and irreparable harm. He brought this action as the next friend of his daughter and grandchild. However, the defendants argued that the children were no longer U.S. citizens, had joined ISIS, and were barred from reentry.

The plaintiff had also requested expedited consideration of his claims. On March 4, 2019, the Court held a hearing on the plaintiff’s request and denied expedited treatment.

The defendant filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and an added motion for partial summary judgment on April, 26 2019 on the grounds that the plaintiff lacked standing as next friend of his daughter and grandson. The Defendant’s move in the alternative for summary judgment on these claims based on the undisputed facts and the attached Department of State certification and contemporaneous underlying official records.

On December 9, 2019, Judge Reggie B. Walton issued a memorandum opinion, granting the plaintiff's renewed motion for expedited relief. Judge Walton also granted in part and denied in part the defendants' motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, summary judgment. The court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment on two counts, finding that the defendants offered evidence showing that the plaintiff had diplomatic immunity at the time his daughter was born and therefore she did not acquire citizenship by birth and her son did not acquire citizenship as a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen. The court dismissed also dismissed one court on the ground of lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Summary judgment was denied on all other counts.

The case was appealed to the D.C. Court of Appeals. On January 19, 2021, Judge Neomi Rao issued the opinion for the court, affirming the district court's grant of summary judgment to the defendants and the dismissal of the plaintiff's claim for declaratory judgment that he would not violate the bar of contributing to terrorism if he sent money to his daughter and grandson. 985 F.3d 893.

The case remains open.

Nelius Wanjohi - 10/03/2019
Gabrielle Simeck - 04/11/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
General
International law
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Immigration/Border
Asylum - procedure
U.S. citizenship - losing
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361
Defendant(s) Attorney General
President of the United States
Secretary of State
Plaintiff Description A former diplomat living in the United States filing on behalf of his daughter and grandson.
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
Filed 02/21/2019
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)
Court Docket(s)
D.D.C.
05/17/2019
1:19-cv-00445
IM-DC-0061-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D.D.C.
02/21/2019
Expedited Complaint for Declaratory Judgment, Injunctive Relief and Petition for Writ of Mandamus [ECF# 1]
IM-DC-0061-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/26/2019
Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Partial Summary Judgment [ECF# 19]
IM-DC-0061-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
05/10/2019
Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [ECF# 24]
IM-DC-0061-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
12/17/2019
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 33]
IM-DC-0061-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
01/19/2021
Opinion (985 F.3d 893)
IM-DC-0061-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Non-PACER U.S. District Court Website
show all people docs
Judges Rao, Neomi Jehangir (D.C. Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0061-0004
Sentelle, David Bryan (W.D.N.C., D.C. Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0061-0004
Tatel, David S. (D.C. Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0061-0004
Walton, Reggie B. (FISC, D.D.C.) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0061-0005 | IM-DC-0061-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Jump, Christina A (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0061-9000
Swift, Charles Davidson (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0061-0001 | IM-DC-0061-0003 | IM-DC-0061-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Carilli, Joseph F. Jr. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0061-0002 | IM-DC-0061-9000
Stewart, Scott Grant (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0061-9000
Other Lawyers Axelrod, Julie B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0061-9000
Eastman, John C. (California) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0061-9000
Hajec, Christopher J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0061-9000

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