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Case Name Ryan v. ICE IM-MA-0017
Docket / Court 1:19-cv-11003 ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Trump Immigration Enforcement Order Challenges
Case Summary
On April 29, 2019, the Middlesex County District Attorney, Suffolk County District Attorney, Committee for Public Counsel Services (“CPCS”), and the Chelsea Collaborative, Inc., filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The plaintiffs sued U.S. Immigration ... read more >
On April 29, 2019, the Middlesex County District Attorney, Suffolk County District Attorney, Committee for Public Counsel Services (“CPCS”), and the Chelsea Collaborative, Inc., filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The plaintiffs sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and several officials under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(C), and the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1226(a), 1357(a). The plaintiffs sought declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief, claiming violations of common-law privilege against civil arrests in courthouses and the Tenth Amendment. The plaintiffs alleged that in 2017, ICE authorized a nationwide campaign to target state courthouses as sites for civil-immigration enforcement. The plaintiffs further alleged that this policy undermined the administration of justice in Massachusetts, as many permanent residents refused to appear in court out of fear of ICE interference. The case was assigned to Judge Indira Talwani.

On April 29, 2019, the plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction that sought to enjoin ICE from authorizing and conducting civil arrests on parties, witnesses, and others attending Massachusetts courthouses on official business. The plaintiffs alleged that by authorizing civil arrests in courthouses, ICE ignored the well-settled common-law privilege against such civil arrests and exceeded its statutory jurisdiction under the Immigrant and Nationality Act. Thus, the practice is unlawful and should be set aside under the APA. While the motion included other claims, the plaintiffs sought preliminary injunctive relief only on this claim.

On May 15, 2019, the defendants filed an opposition to the motion for preliminary injunction. In the opposition, the defendants disputed the existence of a common-law privilege against civil arrest in courthouses. Furthermore, the defendants argued that even if the common-law privilege existed, Congress erased the privilege when it passed the INA.

On June 20, 2019, Judge Indira Talwani granted the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction. 382 F. Supp. 3d 142. Judge Talwani found that plaintiffs had standing to bring the suit, were likely to succeed on the merits of their APA claim, and the injunction was of public interest. Thus, the defendants were enjoined from implementing the Courthouse Civil Arrest Directive and from civilly arresting parties, witnesses, and others attending Massachusetts courthouses on official business while they are going to, attending, or leaving the courthouse. The defendants appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. 19−1838.

Meanwhile, in the district court, the defendants filed a motion for dismiss for failure to state a claim on December 13, 2019. In response, the plaintiffs filed their opposition on January 31, 2020.

On September 1, 2020, the First Circuit vacated and remanded the preliminary injunction decision to the district court. The panel, which included Judges Toruella, Selya, and Kayatta, wrote that the plaintiffs failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits of their nonderogation theory, the theory that ICE's authorization of civil courthouse arrests exceeded ICE's statutory authority because the INA implicitly incorporated a common law privilege against courthouse arrests. The First Circuit additionally held that the plaintiffs had not yet shown a likelihood of success on their APA claim. As such, the court found that the district court's ruling constituted an abuse of discretion. 974 F.3d 9. Notably, the First Circuit reserved judgment as to whether a Massachusetts common-law privilege prohibits civil courthouse arrests and, if so, whether the ICE policy interfered with Massachusetts' power to operate its judiciary.

Back in the district court, discovery continued. But the dynamics in the case changed when the Biden Administration took office in January 2021, and shortly after, the acting secretary of the Department for Homeland Security directed ICE to conduct a review of policies and practices concerning immigration enforcement. Accordingly, on April 27, 2021, the acting directors of ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection and revoked the policy that had been the focus of this litigation. Then, on May 21, 2021, the plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice, as the policy revocation mooted the plaintiffs’ claims.

As of September 2021, the case does not appear to be ongoing.

Aaron Gurley - 09/27/2019
Lily Sawyer-Kaplan - 09/10/2021


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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
Law-enforcement
Immigration/Border
Deportation - procedure
ICE/DHS/INS raid
Sanctuary city/state
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
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.
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description District attorneys and public service organizations.
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Policy change (out-of-court)
Source of Relief None
Filed 04/29/2019
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)
  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 ]

Court Docket(s)
D. Mass.
07/01/2021
1:19-cv-11003
IM-MA-0017-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Mass.
01/10/2018
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Directive Number 11072.1 [ECF# 46]
IM-MA-0017-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
04/29/2019
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-MA-0017-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
04/29/2019
Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 6]
IM-MA-0017-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
05/15/2019
Defendants' Opposition to the Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 34]
IM-MA-0017-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
06/20/2019
Memorandum & Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 51] (382 F.Supp.3d 142)
IM-MA-0017-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
06/20/2019
Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 52]
IM-MA-0017-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Talwani, Indira (D. Mass.) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0005 | IM-MA-0017-0006 | IM-MA-0017-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bennion, Bradly P. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-9000
Benson, Jordan (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0001 | IM-MA-0017-0002 | IM-MA-0017-9000
Fahey, Katherine M. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0001 | IM-MA-0017-0002 | IM-MA-0017-9000
Hajec, Christopher J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-9000
Herbert, Christopher J.C. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0001 | IM-MA-0017-0002 | IM-MA-0017-9000
Nimni, Oren N. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0001 | IM-MA-0017-0002 | IM-MA-0017-9000
Rubio-Spring, Alicia (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0001 | IM-MA-0017-0002 | IM-MA-0017-9000
Wayne, Wendy S. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0001 | IM-MA-0017-0002 | IM-MA-0017-9000
Wiesen, Daryl L. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0001 | IM-MA-0017-0002 | IM-MA-0017-9000
Zimmer, David (California) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0001 | IM-MA-0017-0002 | IM-MA-0017-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Farquhar, Rayford A. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0003 | IM-MA-0017-9000
Genova, Francesca (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0003 | IM-MA-0017-9000
Hunt, Joseph H. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0003
Kurz, Julian (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0003 | IM-MA-0017-9000
Lelling, Andrew E. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0003
Peachey, William Charles (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0003
Piemonte-Stacy, Eve (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-9000
Reuveni, Erez (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-0003 | IM-MA-0017-9000
Sady, Michael P. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0017-9000

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