University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name New York v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement IM-NY-0071
Docket / Court 1:19-cv-08876-JSR ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
On September 25, 2019, the State of New York and the Kings County District Attorney filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Represented by private ... read more >
On September 25, 2019, the State of New York and the Kings County District Attorney filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs challenged the federal government’s new directive authorizing civil immigration arrests in and around New York State courthouses (“the Directive”). The plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief, alleging that the Directive violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the Tenth Amendment. The case was assigned to Judge Jed S. Rakoff.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs stated that prior to a January 2018 ICE directive addressing “Civil Immigration Enforcement Actions Inside Courthouses,” there was a longstanding practice of avoiding civil immigration arrests in and around state courthouses. And, because New York recognizes a common-law privilege against civil arrests in, or while traveling to or from, courthouses, the plaintiffs argued that the Directive, which generally authorizes such arrests, violates the APA by exceeding ICE’s statutory authority. The plaintiffs also claimed that the Directive is arbitrary and capricious in violation of the APA because it was issued absent adequate justification or explanation.

Next, the plaintiffs alleged that implementation of the Directive disrupts the effective functioning of the State’s court system, deters victims and witnesses from assisting law enforcement and vindicating their rights, hinders criminal prosecution, and undermines public safety. The plaintiffs also noted that ICE enforcement actions at New York State courthouses had “skyrocketed” since the Directive was issued, and that such enforcement had significantly chilled participation in the courts. Thus, the plaintiffs argued that the Directive violates the Tenth Amendment by impermissibly interfering with New York’s right to form its own government by disrupting state court operations and impeding criminal prosecutions.

On October 23, 2019, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss. The defendants claimed that the Directive is unreviewable under the APA, there is no federal common-law immunity from immigration enforcement for those who are subject to ICE arrest, and that the Directive does not implicate the Tenth Amendment because it does not command or compel state actors to take any action.

On December 19, 2019, the district court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss with respect to all of the plaintiffs’ claims for relief. First, Judge Rakoff found that the Directive was final agency action subject to judicial review. Next, he held that the common-law privilege against civil courthouse arrests applies to immigration arrests, and has not been displaced by federal immigration law. Finally, he found that the facts presented demonstrate that ICE has commandeered state and local judges and court officials not to take action in response to ICE courthouse arrests, even when such arrests cause great disruption and state agents would therefore normally intervene. 431 F.Supp.3d 377.

The plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on March 13, 2020. The motion was accompanied by three amicus briefs: one from former nominee to be U.S. Attorney General for Civil Rights and Commissioner of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Debo Adegbile, another from Harvard Law Professor Nikolas Bowie, and a third from the New York Bar Association.

Judge Rakoff granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on June 10, 2020. He held that the Immigration and Nationality Act incorporated the English common law rule preventing service and arrest on people in or traveling to a courthouse. He also ruled that the policy change violated the APA's arbitrary and capricious review standard. He was not persuaded by the defendants' arguments that executive orders and policy directives from DHS effectively mandated that arrests must be carried out in courthouses because the orders mandated no such thing. In granting the summary judgment motion, Judge Rakoff also granted the motion for declaratory and injunctive relief and enjoined ICE from carrying out any civil arrests in New York courthouses. 2020 WL 3067715.

On August 7, 2020, the defendants appealed to the Second Circuit. As of December 23, 2020, the appeal is pending.

Sam Kulhanek - 03/08/2020
Ellen Aldin - 06/11/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Federalism (including 10th Amendment)
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Pattern or Practice
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Plaintiff Description The State of New York and the Kings County District Attorney.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 09/25/2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-NY-0075 : Doe v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (S.D.N.Y.)
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)
S.D.N.Y.
11/20/2020
1:19-cv-08876
IM-NY-0071-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
S.D.N.Y.
09/25/2019
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-NY-0071-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D.N.Y.
12/19/2019
Opinion and Order [ECF# 51] (431 F.Supp.3d 377)
IM-NY-0071-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D.N.Y.
03/13/2020
Brief of Former Judges as Amici Curiae in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 83]
IM-NY-0071-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D.N.Y.
03/13/2020
Brief of Professor Nikolas Bowie as Amicus Curiae in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 84]
IM-NY-0071-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D.N.Y.
03/13/2020
Brief of Amicus Curiae Association of the Bar of the City of New York in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 87]
IM-NY-0071-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D.N.Y.
06/10/2020
Opinion and Order [ECF# 109] (2020 WL 3067715)
IM-NY-0071-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Rakoff, Jed Saul (S.D.N.Y.) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-0002 | IM-NY-0071-0006 | IM-NY-0071-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Colangelo, Matthew (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-9000
Eisman, Scott Andrew (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-9000
Fajana, Morenike (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-0001 | IM-NY-0071-9000
Harris, Jill (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-0001 | IM-NY-0071-9000
James, Letitia (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-0001
Kaye, Fiona Jeannette (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-9000
Lichstein, Toni C (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-9000
Malhotra, Anjana (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-0001 | IM-NY-0071-9000
Nogueira, Daniela (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-9000
Savitzky, Ari Joseph (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-9000
Wu, Steven C. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Friedman, Rebecca Ruth (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-9000
Oestericher, Jeffrey Stuart (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-9000
Onozawa, Tomoko (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-9000
Other Lawyers Adegbile, Debo Patrick (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-0003
Axelrod, Lauren Grant (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-0005 | IM-NY-0071-9000
Bowie, Nikolas (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-0004 | IM-NY-0071-9000
Lawson, Theresa Dawn (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-9000
Neilson, Victoria (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-0005
Rao, Rahul (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-9000
Sokoler, Jennifer B (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-9000
Sutherland, Brian A. (California) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-9000
Zafran, Jarret A (New York) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0071-0003

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