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Case Name Doe v. Trump PB-CA-0055
Docket / Court 8:20-cv-00858 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is a class action filed on May 6 against the U.S. government to challenge the Exclusion Provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief as well as a TRO prohibiting the defendants from ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is a class action filed on May 6 against the U.S. government to challenge the Exclusion Provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief as well as a TRO prohibiting the defendants from enforcing the Exclusion Provision. On July 8, the court denied the TRO.


On May 6, 2020, an individual married to a spouse without a social security number (SSN) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government to challenge the Exclusion Provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The plaintiffs alleged that 26 U.S.C. § 6428 (the Exclusion Provision), as enacted by Section 2101 of the CARES Act, violated Due Process, Equal Protection, and the penumbra of privacy rights under the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The plaintiffs filed this action in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California as a declaratory and injunctive action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that her exclusion from eligibility for the Stimulus Checks on the basis of her choice to marry a non-citizen was a violation of her First Amendment rights. Moreover, the plaintiff alleged that the Exclusion Provision violated the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments as it infringed her fundamental choice to marry whom she wished. The plaintiff also argued that § 6428 was not narrowly tailored to advance a compelling government interest, nor rationally related to any legitimate government interest. Represented by private attorneys, the plaintiff’s proposed class sought to include all U.S. citizens married to a spouse without an SSN, and who filed joint tax returns with immigrants who would otherwise qualify for Stimulus Checks. The plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief enjoining the enforcement of the Exclusion Provision and an order requiring the defendants to hold in escrow or earmark sufficient funds to issue Stimulus Checks to the proposed class. The plaintiff also sought attorney fees and class certification, and also requested a jury trial. The case was assigned to District Judge David O. Carter.

On March 27, President Trump announced the CARES Act aimed to provide emergency assistance and health care response to individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act authorized the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to distribute $1200.00 to each eligible individual who was a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or a qualifying residing alien with a valid SSN. Under § 6428, the Exclusion Provision, the applicant was also required to provide a “valid identification number” or an SSN of their spouse on their tax returns. The plaintiff, married to an immigrant with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) but without an SSN, did not qualify for the Advance Payment.

On May 8, the plaintiff filed an ex parte application for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) prohibiting the defendants from enforcing the Exclusion Provision. The same day, the case was transferred to Judge Stephen V. Wilson and Magistrate Judge John E. McDermott for all further proceedings.

On May 11, the defendants filed an opposition to the TRO, noting that the plaintiff had not applied for the benefit herself. The defendants asserted that until the plaintiff herself applied for the tax benefit and was denied by the IRS, she lacked Article III standing to bring the claim. The defendant also argued that the government was also entitled to sovereign immunity.

The complaint was amended on June 3 to add another plaintiff married to a non-citizen without an SSN who otherwise would have qualified for the benefit. On June 15, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case.

On June 29, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) filed an amicus brief in support of the defendants. On July 1, Attorneys United for Secure America also filed an amicus brief in support of the defendants. On July 8, the court denied the TRO, finding that the plaintiff did not have a substantial argument that the exclusion provision was not rational. The case is ongoing.

Averyn Lee - 07/12/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Family discrimination
Immigration status
General
Disparate Treatment
Marriage
Public assistance grants
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury
President of the United States
Senator and Sponsor of the CARES Act
U.S. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
U.S. Department of the Treasury
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
United States of America
Plaintiff Description an individual married to a spouse without a social security number on behalf of all U.S. citizens married to a spouse without an SSN, and who filed joint tax returns with immigrants who would otherwise qualify for an Advance Credit
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
None
Source of Relief None yet
None
Filed 05/06/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PB-WI-0004 : Does v. Trump (E.D. Wis.)
PB-IL-0014 : Doe v. Trump (N.D. Ill.)
PB-WI-0005 : Does v. Trump (W.D. Wis.)
Docket(s)
8:20-cv-00858-SVW-JEM (C.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0055-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/08/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
PB-CA-0055-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/06/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Ex Parte Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause Why a Preliminary Injunction Should not Issue; [ECF# 9, 11 (incl. 11-1 to 11-7)]
PB-CA-0055-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Reply in Support of Ex Parte Application for Temporary Restraining Order as to Cares Act [ECF# 26 (incl. 26-1 to 26-8)]
PB-CA-0055-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Class Action Complaint [ECF# 28, 28-1]
PB-CA-0055-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/03/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Dismiss; Memorandum of Points and Authorities; Proposed Order [ECF# 30, 30-1, 30-2]
PB-CA-0055-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/15/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 32, 32-1, 32-2]
PB-CA-0055-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/22/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reply to Opposition to Motion to Dismiss (ECF 32); Memorandum of Points and Authorities [ECF# 36]
PB-CA-0055-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/29/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Motion and Motion for Leave to File Memorandum of Law as Amicus Brief in Support of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 37, 37-1, 37-2, 37-3]
PB-CA-0055-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/29/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Motion and Motion for Leave to File An Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 39, 39-1, 39-2]
PB-CA-0055-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/01/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 44] (C.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0055-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/08/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges McDermott, John E. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-9000
Wilson, Stephen Victor (C.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0010 | PB-CA-0055-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abuzir, Omar A (Illinois) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0001 | PB-CA-0055-0002 | PB-CA-0055-0003 | PB-CA-0055-0004 | PB-CA-0055-0006
Bennett, Corey B (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0003
Blaise, Heather Lea (Illinois) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0001 | PB-CA-0055-0002 | PB-CA-0055-0004 | PB-CA-0055-0006 | PB-CA-0055-9000
Boxer, Joshua D (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0003 | PB-CA-0055-0004 | PB-CA-0055-0006 | PB-CA-0055-9000
Gavin, Elisabeth Anne (Illinois) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0001 | PB-CA-0055-0002 | PB-CA-0055-0004 | PB-CA-0055-0006
Khalaf, Vivian R (Illinois) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0001 | PB-CA-0055-0002 | PB-CA-0055-0003 | PB-CA-0055-0004 | PB-CA-0055-0006
Matern, Matthew John (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0003 | PB-CA-0055-0004 | PB-CA-0055-0006 | PB-CA-0055-9000
Moore, Guinevere Marie (Illinois) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0003 | PB-CA-0055-0004 | PB-CA-0055-0006 | PB-CA-0055-9000
Nassar, Lana B (Illinois) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0001 | PB-CA-0055-0002 | PB-CA-0055-0004 | PB-CA-0055-0006 | PB-CA-0055-9000
Nitschke, Thomas John (Illinois) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0001 | PB-CA-0055-0002 | PB-CA-0055-0004 | PB-CA-0055-0006
Defendant's Lawyers Briggs, Melissa (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0005 | PB-CA-0055-0007 | PB-CA-0055-9000
Coker, Thomas D (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0005 | PB-CA-0055-0007
Ellis, John (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0005 | PB-CA-0055-0007 | PB-CA-0055-9000
Hanna, Nicola T. (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0005 | PB-CA-0055-0007
Other Lawyers Joseph, Lawrence J (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0008 | PB-CA-0055-9000
Mitchell, Jonathan F. (Texas) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0009
Woodwark, Lorraine Glynis (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0055-0009 | PB-CA-0055-9000

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