University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name K.O. v. Sessions IM-MA-0022
Docket / Court 4:18-cv-40149 ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
Case Summary
This case arose out of the detention and separation of the named child plaintiffs from their parents upon their entry into the United States. These detentions and separations were part of the broader Trump Administration "Zero Tolerance" policy of separating immigrant children from their parents ... read more >
This case arose out of the detention and separation of the named child plaintiffs from their parents upon their entry into the United States. These detentions and separations were part of the broader Trump Administration "Zero Tolerance" policy of separating immigrant children from their parents upon entry into the country, which was intended to deter immigration to the United States by instilling fear in migrants, especially those from Central and South American countries.

This case was filed on September 5, 2018 by child plaintiffs who were forcibly separated from their parents and detained, on behalf of similarly situated children across the United States. They sued the U.S. Attorney General, the Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the White House Chief of Staff, and other government officials in their individual capacities. The complaint alleged several due process violations, a violation of the Fifth Amendment's Equal Protection Guarantee, a Conspiracy to Interfere with Civil Rights in Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3), and a Refusal or Neglect to Prevent or Aid in Preventing Conspiracy to Interfere with Civil Rights in Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1986. The plaintiffs sought damages and the establishment of a fund for the mental health treatment of all class members to remedy the harm caused by the forcible separation.

The first complaint defined the class as all minor children nationwide who entered the United States and had been separated from their parent(s) by DHS or its sub-agencies and detained in Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) custody, ORR foster care, or Customs and Border Protection custody (CBP) or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody without a demonstration in a hearing that the parent is unfit or presents a danger to the child.

The case was assigned to Massachusetts District Judge Timothy S. Hillman. On January 8, 2019, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss, claiming lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. On January 29, 2019, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, which supplemented the alleged basis for the court's personal jurisdiction over the defendants and added a Fourth Amendment violation claim. The defendants filed a second motion to dismiss, again arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction and the plaintiffs failed to state a claim.

The court held a hearing on the motion to dismiss on June 17, 2019. On February 3, 2020, Judge Hillman granted the defendant's motion to dismiss, finding that the district court lacked personal jurisdiction and that the venue was improper. He ordered that the case be transferred to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

The case was transferred on February 3, 2020 and assigned to Judge Rudolph Contreras. The court issued an order and a memorandum opinion granting the defendants' motion to dismiss on June 23, 2020, without granting the plaintiffs leave to amend. The court found that the plaintiffs' due process violation claims and claim of a Fifth Amendment violation were brought under the wrong theory and, as pled, the plaintiffs failed to state a cause of action. The court also found that the individual defendants were entitled to qualified immunity with respect to the Conspiracy to Interfere with Civil Rights in Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3) and the Refusal or Neglect to Prevent or Aid in Preventing Conspiracy to Interfere with Civil Rights in Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1986 claims.

The plaintiffs filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on August 21, 2020 (USCA Case Number 20-5255).

The case is ongoing as of November 5, 2020.

Rachel Kreager - 11/03/2020


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Equal Protection
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Confinement/isolation
Family abuse and neglect
Family reunification
Juveniles
Neglect by staff
Over/Unlawful Detention
Parents (visitation, involvement)
Pattern or Practice
Placement in detention facilities
Youth / Adult separation
Immigration/Border
Admission - procedure
Asylum - criteria
Asylum - procedure
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Detention - procedures
Family
Language
Spanish
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
National Origin/Ethnicity
Other
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1985
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) Attorney General of the United States
Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security
White House Chief of Staff
Plaintiff Description A nationwide class consisting of all minor children who enter or have entered the United States at or between designated ports of entry and who have been or will be separated from a parent or parents by DHS or its sub-agencies (CBP, ICE, or USCIS) and detained in ORR custody, ORR foster care, or CBP or ICE custody without a demonstration in a hearing that the parent is unfit or presents a danger to the child.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Unknown
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Unknown
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 09/05/2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
D. Mass.
02/03/2020
4:18-cv-40149-TSH
IM-MA-0022-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
11/12/2020
4:18-cv-40149
IM-MA-0022-9001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Mass.
09/05/2018
Class Action Complaint and Jury Demand [ECF# 1]
IM-MA-0022-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
01/29/2019
First Amended Class Action Complaint and Jury Demand [ECF# 45]
IM-MA-0022-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
02/03/2020
Memorandum of Decision and Order [ECF# 86] (436 F.Supp.3d 442)
IM-MA-0022-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
06/23/2020
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 113]
IM-MA-0022-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Contreras, Rudolph (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0004 | IM-MA-0022-9001
Hillman, Timothy Spafard (D. Mass.) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0003 | IM-MA-0022-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allen, Brittanie (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0001 | IM-MA-0022-0002
Bless, Jesse (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0001 | IM-MA-0022-0002 | IM-MA-0022-9000
Cacace, Joseph M (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0001 | IM-MA-0022-0002 | IM-MA-0022-9000 | IM-MA-0022-9001
Church, Susan (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0001 | IM-MA-0022-0002 | IM-MA-0022-9000
Cooper, Howard M (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0001 | IM-MA-0022-0002 | IM-MA-0022-9000 | IM-MA-0022-9001
Demissie, Derege B. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0001 | IM-MA-0022-0002
Espinoza-Madrigal, Ivan (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0001 | IM-MA-0022-0002 | IM-MA-0022-9000
Goldman, Jeff (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0001 | IM-MA-0022-0002
Maynard, Lauren (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0001 | IM-MA-0022-0002 | IM-MA-0022-9000
Nichols, Kenneth (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-9001
Nimni, Oren N. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0001 | IM-MA-0022-0002 | IM-MA-0022-9000
Vicinanzo, David A. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0001 | IM-MA-0022-0002 | IM-MA-0022-9000 | IM-MA-0022-9001
Warecki, Nathan P. (New Hampshire) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0001 | IM-MA-0022-0002 | IM-MA-0022-9000 | IM-MA-0022-9001
Whittaker, Brian (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-9001
Yountz, Heather (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-0001 | IM-MA-0022-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Mason, Mary Hampton (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-9000 | IM-MA-0022-9001
Quast, Paul C (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-9000 | IM-MA-0022-9001
Ward, Thomas G (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-9000
Other Lawyers Bennion, Bradly P. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-9000
Hajec, Christopher J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-9000
Miano, John Michael (New York) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0022-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -