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Case Name N.S. v. Hughes IM-DC-0085
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-101 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
This is a class action lawsuit about the legality of the policies and practices of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS). On January 14, 2020, an individual detained by USMS filed this lawsuit in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiff sued the U.S. Marshal for the District of ... read more >
This is a class action lawsuit about the legality of the policies and practices of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS). On January 14, 2020, an individual detained by USMS filed this lawsuit in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiff sued the U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia Superior Court under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.) and 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Represented by a public defender, the plaintiff sought declaratory, injunctive, and habeas relief. The case was assigned to Judge Royce C. Lamberth.

The plaintiff alleged that USMS officers exceeded their statutory authority by unlawfully detaining individuals, who were ordered to be released by a Superior Court judge or whose cases the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute, on the grounds that they violated civil immigration statutes. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), only certain law enforcement agencies with expertise in immigration law, not including USMS, can enforce civil immigration law, such as by making warrantless arrests and detaining individuals suspected of civil immigration violations. USMS was limited to obeying, executing, and enforcing all orders of the courts, including the U.S District Courts.

On the date of the filing of the lawsuit, the plaintiff moved for a preliminary injunction and to certify a class. On March 26, 2020, the National Immigrant Justice Center and the District of Columbia entered amicus briefs on behalf of the plaintiff.

On May 7, 2020, the court preliminarily enjoined USMS from seizing individuals for suspected civil immigration violations, and certified the plaintiff class as “all indigent criminal defendants in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia: (1) who were, are, or will be detained by officers of the United States Marshals Service for suspected civil immigration violations, and (2) as to whom Immigration and Customs Enforcement has not effectuated a warrant of removal/deportation (a form I-205) and/or has not obtained an order of deportation or removal.” 335 F.R.D 337.

On June 4, 2020, USMS moved for reconsideration of the opinion, citing for the first time a nonpublic, unpublished 2002 Order of the Attorney General that purportedly authorized USMS to carry out civil immigration arrests. On July 24, 2020, the court denied USMS’ request for reconsideration, stating that USMS failed to provide the 2002 order at the appropriate time and that the order was facially invalid under the APA. 2020 WL 4260739.

On September 28, 2020, the plaintiffs moved to clarify the order granting a preliminary injunction and certifying the class. USMS responded to the motion on October 23, 2020, and the plaintiff’s response is due by November 6, 2020.

This case is ongoing.

Zofia Peach - 10/29/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
False arrest
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Immigration/Border
Criminal prosecution
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
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
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Defendant(s) U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia Superior Court
Plaintiff Description All indigent criminal defendants in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia: (1) who were, are, or will be detained by officers of the United States Marshals Service for suspected civil immigration violations, and (2) as to whom Immigration and Customs Enforcement has not effectuated a warrant of removal/deportation (a form I-205) and/or has not obtained an order of deportation or removal.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 01/14/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Court Docket(s)
D.D.C.
10/28/2020
1:20-cv-00101-RCL
IM-DC-0085-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D.D.C.
01/14/2020
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 3]
IM-DC-0085-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
05/07/2020
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 39] (335 F.R.D. 337)
IM-DC-0085-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
05/07/2020
Order [ECF# 40]
IM-DC-0085-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
07/24/2020
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 50] (2020 WL 4260739)
IM-DC-0085-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Lamberth, Royce C. (FISC, D.D.C.) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0085-0002 | IM-DC-0085-0003 | IM-DC-0085-0004 | IM-DC-0085-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Marcus, Steven D (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0085-0001 | IM-DC-0085-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Walker, Johnny Hillary III (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0085-9000
Other Lawyers Lake, James Graham (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0085-9000
Zwick, Keren Hart (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0085-9000

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