On March 5, 1998, a group of naturalized U.S. citizens who had been served with a notice of intent to revoke naturalization (NOIR) by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) brought suit in the United State District Court for the Western District of Washington, challenging the validity ...
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On March 5, 1998, a group of naturalized U.S. citizens who had been served with a notice of intent to revoke naturalization (NOIR) by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) brought suit in the United State District Court for the Western District of Washington, challenging the validity of administrative denaturalization proceedings conducted under INS regulation 8 C.F.R. § 340.1. Before the INS implemented this regulation, the Attorney General alone conducted denaturalization proceedings in the federal district courts. The Attorney General then delegated that power to the INS which issued the regulation in question. Plaintiffs, who were represented by attorneys with the National Immigration Law Center and private firms, alleged that the regulation violated due process, the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq., and the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101 et. seq. They sought a preliminary injunction to stop denaturalization proceedings under the regulation and requested nationwide class certification.
The government responded by moving to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
On July 9, 1998, the District Court (Judge Barbara J. Rothstein) denied the defendants' motion to dismiss and granted the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction and ordered the INS to stop conducting denaturalization proceedings pursuant to regulation. The Court also adopted the report and recommendation of Magistrate Judge David E. Wilson to certify the case as a class action. Gorbach v. Reno, 181 F.R.D. 642, 42 Fed.R.Serv.3d 507 (W.D.Wash. Aug 07, 1998). The government appealed.
A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the injunction, finding that the Attorney General had the authority to delegate to the INS the authority to conduct denaturalization proceedings. Gorbach v. Reno, 179 F.3d 1111 (9th Cir.1999). Plaintiffs' petition for rehearing en banc was granted and the opinion of the three-judge panel was withdrawn. Gorbach v. Reno, 192 F.3d 1329 (9th Cir. 1999).
On rehearing, the Ninth Circuit en banc affirmed the district court's injunction, holding that there was no statutory authority for the INS to revoke a person's citizenship administratively. Only the Attorney General could seek to do so by filing a petition in a United States District Court. Gorbach v. Reno, 219 F.3d 1087 (9th Cir. 2000).
On remand, the District Court (Judge Rothstein) granted plaintiffs' motion to make the injunction permanent, by order dated February 14, 2001. The Court declined to award attorney fees and costs to plaintiffs. Plaintiffs appealed the fee order, but subsequently dismissed their appeal.
We have no further information on the case.Brian Ponton - 08/22/2007