University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Villegas v. Silverman IM-IN-0001
Docket / Court 49D03-0208-PL-1448 ( State Court )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
In August 2002, several undocumented aliens brought a class-action lawsuit in Indiana state court (Marion Superior Court), challenging identification requirements that were issued by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) for obtaining driver's licenses or identification cards. Under the new ... read more >
In August 2002, several undocumented aliens brought a class-action lawsuit in Indiana state court (Marion Superior Court), challenging identification requirements that were issued by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) for obtaining driver's licenses or identification cards. Under the new requirements, applicants were required to show proof of a Social Security Number and U.S. citizenship or lawful immigration status. Plaintiffs were represented by the Indiana ACLU and private counsel and sought declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, plaintiffs asserted that the regulation violated the Equal Protection Clause, the Due Process Clause, and the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, as well as the Indiana Administrative Rules and Procedures Act.

In March 2004, the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. Following a hearing on the dispositive motions, the Marion Superior Court (Judge Patrick L. McCarty) entered judgment in favor of the BMV, finding that plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the BMV regulation. Plaintiffs appealed.

The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded with instructions to enter judgment in favor of plaintiffs. The Appeals Court found that plaintiffs had standing to bring the action, even if they did not have social security numbers, as possession of a social security number was not a requirement under Indiana law to obtain a drivers license. The Court also found that the BMV rule was not properly issued in accordance with the Indiana Administrative Rules and Procedures Act and was therefore void. The Court did not address plaintiffs' constitutional challenges. Villegas v. Silverman, 832 N.E.2d 598 (Ind.App. 2005).

Elizabeth Daligga - 07/02/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Federalism
General
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Status/Classification
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Plaintiff Description Illegal aliens who were unable to receive driver licenses or identification cards or both due to identification requirements for obtaining said documents
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Unknown
Order Duration 2005 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2005
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Brief of Appellee
IM-IN-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/05/2005
Appellants' Reply Brief
IM-IN-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/20/2005
Opinion [From Court of Appeals of Indiana] (832 N.E.2d 598)
IM-IN-0001-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/12/2005
Source: Google Scholar
Order Denying Transfer (855 N.E.2d 1000)
IM-IN-0001-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/02/2006
Judges Barnes, Michael P. (State Appellate Court)
IM-IN-0001-0003
May, Melissa S. (State Appellate Court)
IM-IN-0001-0003
Vaidik, Nancy H. (State Appellate Court)
IM-IN-0001-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Falk, Kenneth J. (Indiana)
IM-IN-0001-0002 | IM-IN-0001-0003
Gilchrist, Scott (Indiana)
IM-IN-0001-0002 | IM-IN-0001-0003
Ramirez, Rafael (Indiana)
IM-IN-0001-0002 | IM-IN-0001-0003
Shevitz, Richard (Indiana)
IM-IN-0001-0002 | IM-IN-0001-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Carter, Stephen (Indiana)
IM-IN-0001-0001 | IM-IN-0001-0003
Steiner, David L. (Indiana)
IM-IN-0001-0001 | IM-IN-0001-0003

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