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Case Name J.B.B.C. v. Wolf IM-DC-0077
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-01509 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National (all projects)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This lawsuit was filed on behalf on an unaccompanied minor subject to deportation, alleging that the Trump administrations' system of authorizing the summary removal of persons to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 bypassed procedural protections otherwise granted to minor ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This lawsuit was filed on behalf on an unaccompanied minor subject to deportation, alleging that the Trump administrations' system of authorizing the summary removal of persons to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 bypassed procedural protections otherwise granted to minor children. On June 24, the court granted a TRO. On June 29, the defendants notified the court that they have exempted the plaintiff from processing under Title 42. On August 6, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case.


On June 9, 2020, a 16-year-old migrant filed this lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP Office of Field Operations, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, against the Trump administration’s system which authorizes deportation from the United States even without any signs of COVID-19. The plaintiff brought suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief enjoining the defendants from enforcing the order under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998, the Public Health Services Act of 1944, and 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-2202. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the new system for restricting immigration along the borders (collectively referred to as “Title 42 Process”) which authorizes the summary removal of unaccompanied children without any due process is an unlawful invocation of Title 42 of the U.S. Code. The plaintiff was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation Immigrants Rights Project, ACLU District of Columbia, ACLU Texas, Oxfam America, and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies. The case was assigned to Judge Carl K. Nichols.

On May 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order suspending “the introduction into the United States of persons from designated foreign countries or places” to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 under 42 U.S.C. § 265 (Title 42). The CDC interpreted the authority expansively to cover not only those entering the U.S but also those who have already crossed the border. The Title 42 Process was amended on May 20 to take effect indefinitely until the CDC determined it was no longer necessary.

The plaintiff, an unaccompanied minor, fled persecution from Honduras and was apprehended by CBP upon entry. Under the Title 42 Process, he was subject to summary expulsion and was scheduled to be deported to Honduras on June 10. The plaintiff alleged that the Title 42 Process bypassed statutory and procedural protections otherwise granted to unaccompanied minor children. While the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) already authorized the rapid removal of noncitizens who entered the U.S. illegally, unaccompanied children were not subject to expedited removal unlike the May 19 order which did not exempt minors. Prior to implementation of the Title 42 Process, the plaintiff would have been entitled to a full hearing and appeals process to determine their right to remain in the U.S. The plaintiff also alleged that while the Title 42 Process authorized the defendant for testing and quarantine as a health directive, the expulsion of children seeking protection from persecution violated the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The plaintiff also filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) staying his expulsion scheduled for June 10, pending the hearing on the authority of Title 42. The plaintiff also sought an order staying his expulsion under the protection of the INA and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

The same day the complaint was filed, the parties agreed that the government will not move the plaintiff until June 10. On June 10, a hearing was held regarding the TRO. On June 15, an amicus brief was submitted by the International Refugee Assistance Project in support of the plaintiff’s emergency TRO motion. On June 17, the defendants submitted an opposition to the TRO, contending that public health concerns justified the CDC order. The following day, the Scholars or Refugee and Immigration Law sought to submit an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff.

On June 24, the TRO was granted pending the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction.

On June 29, the defendants notified the court that they have transferred the custody of the plaintiff to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Department of Health and Human Services, for immigration processing under Title 8 of the U.S. Code, exempting the plaintiff from processing under Title 42. The defendants argued that since the plaintiff will no longer be subject to the challenged CDC Order, they now believe the case is moot. The defendants anticipated that they will move to dismiss the case, as the plaintiffs do not believe that the case is moot.

On July 2, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, adding another minor child as an additional plaintiff. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss on July 23, arguing lack of jurisdiction. They argued that the case is moot, since both plaintiffs are now excepted from the order, and therefore, there is no actual ongoing controversy.

On August 6, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case.

Averyn Lee - 08/07/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
Immigration/Border
Admission - procedure
Asylum - procedure
Border police
Convention against Torture
Deportation - procedure
Refugees
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) CBP Office of Field Operations
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
the Office of Refugee Resettlement
U.S. Border Patrol
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description An unaccompanied minor subject to deportation from the United States
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National (all projects)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
None
Source of Relief Litigation
None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration 2020 - n/a
Filed 06/09/2020
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  J.B.C.C v. Wolf
American Civil Liberties Union
Date: Jun. 24, 2020
By: American Civil Liberties Union
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:20-cv-01509-CJN (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0077-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/23/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-DC-0077-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/09/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 2 (incl. 2-1 to 2-4)]
IM-DC-0077-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/09/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief of Amicus Curiae the International Refugee Assistance Project, Inc. in Support of Plaintiff's Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 27]
IM-DC-0077-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/15/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiff's Emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 28 (incl. 28-1 to 28-7)]
IM-DC-0077-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/17/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Reply in Support of Motion for Emergency Stay of Removal [ECF# 34]
IM-DC-0077-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/22/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 38] (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0077-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/24/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 42, 42-1]
IM-DC-0077-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 47 (incl. 47-1 to 47-3)]
IM-DC-0077-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/23/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Nichols, Carl John (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0077-0005 | IM-DC-0077-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bookey, Blaine (California) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0077-0001 | IM-DC-0077-0002 | IM-DC-0077-0006 | IM-DC-0077-0007
Crook, Jamie Lorraine (California) show/hide docs
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Drake, Brantley Shaw (Texas) show/hide docs
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Galindo, Daniel Antonio (New York) show/hide docs
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Garza, Rochelle M (Texas) show/hide docs
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Gelernt, Lee (New York) show/hide docs
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Harrold, Adrienne (California) show/hide docs
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Huddleston, Kathryn (Texas) show/hide docs
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Kang, Stephen B. (California) show/hide docs
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Michelman, Scott (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Musalo, Karen (California) show/hide docs
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Perez, Celso Javier (New York) show/hide docs
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Russell, Morgan (California) show/hide docs
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Segura, Andre (Texas) show/hide docs
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Silverman, Robert (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
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Spitzer, Arthur (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Wofsy, Cody H. (California) show/hide docs
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Defendant's Lawyers Craigmyle, Bradley (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0077-0004 | IM-DC-0077-0008 | IM-DC-0077-9000
Davis, Ethan P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0077-0008
Hunt, Joseph H. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0077-0004
Lin, Jean (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0077-0004 | IM-DC-0077-0008 | IM-DC-0077-9000
Morrell, David Michael (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0077-0008
Snell, Kevin Matthew (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0077-0004 | IM-DC-0077-0008 | IM-DC-0077-9000
Other Lawyers Austin, Kathryn (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0077-0003
Castillo, Geroline (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0077-0003
Hirose, Mariko (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0077-0003 | IM-DC-0077-9000
Levine, Noah Adam (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0077-9000
Wolfson, Paul Reinherz (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0077-9000

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