Case: American Immigration Council v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security

1:11-cv-01971 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: Nov. 8, 2011

Closed Date: 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 8, 2011, an immigrant rights advocacy organization filed this lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706. The plaintiff, represented by the American Immigration Council and private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that DHS had failed to make a reasonable search for…

On November 8, 2011, an immigrant rights advocacy organization filed this lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706. The plaintiff, represented by the American Immigration Council and private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that DHS had failed to make a reasonable search for and disclosure of requested documents concerning individuals' access to legal counsel during their interactions with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (The same day, AIC filed a similar lawsuit relating to a similar records request made to a different DHS component, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. For information on that one, see IM-DC-0018 in this Clearinghouse.)

On May 31, 2012, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss and for summary judgment, claiming that it had provided the plaintiff with "all non-exempt, responsive records in accordance with the FOIA."

On November 27, 2012, the district court (Judge James E. Boasberg) granted the motion to dismiss in part as to the second cause of action and denied it in part. Am. Immigration Council v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., 905 F.Supp.2d 206 (D.D.C. Nov. 27, 2012).

Th parties then negotiated a settlement, and the plaintiff filed a stipulation of settlement agreement and dismissal on March 15, 2013. The settlement agreement required the defendant to provide INS GC’s 1986 memo regarding a refugee applicant’s right to counsel, written training documents USCIS developed to implement a pertinent memo in 2011 (the December 21, 2011 interim memo) and in 2012 (the May 23, 2012 final memo). The agreement also required the defendant to conduct a search for records responsive to the plaintiff's FOIA request and produce to AIC all responsive, non-exempt documents. The defendant agreed to pay the plaintiff $45,000 in attorneys' fees and costs.

The court dismissed this case with prejudice.

Summary Authors

Christopher Schad (6/1/2012)

Susie Choi (3/16/2017)

Related Cases

American Immigration Council v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, District of Columbia (2011)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4211396/parties/american-immigration-council-v-united-states-department-of-homeland/


Judge(s)

Boasberg, James Emanuel (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Crow, Melissa E. (District of Columbia)

Grant, Michelle S. (Minnesota)

Magid, Creighton R. (District of Columbia)

Werlin, Beth (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Borum, Marian L. (District of Columbia)

Machen, Ronald C (District of Columbia)

Vanhorn, Daniel F. (District of Columbia)

Van Horn, Daniel F (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Boasberg, James Emanuel (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Crow, Melissa E. (District of Columbia)

Grant, Michelle S. (Minnesota)

Magid, Creighton R. (District of Columbia)

Werlin, Beth (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Borum, Marian L. (District of Columbia)

Machen, Ronald C (District of Columbia)

Vanhorn, Daniel F. (District of Columbia)

Van Horn, Daniel F (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

May 30, 2013 Docket
1

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Nov. 8, 2011 Complaint

Policy Memorandum

No Court

Dec. 21, 2011 Discovery Material/FOIA Release

Policy Memorandum

No Court

May 23, 2012 Discovery Material/FOIA Release
22

Memorandum Opinion

905 F.Supp.2d 206, 2012 WL 5928643

Nov. 27, 2012 Order/Opinion
25

Stipulation of Settlement Agreements

March 15, 2013 Settlement Agreement

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4211396/american-immigration-council-v-united-states-department-of-homeland/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ( Filing fee $ 350, receipt number 4616043611) filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. (Attachments: # (1) Exhibit A, # (2) Exhibit B, # (3) Exhibit C, # (4) Exhibit D, # (5) Exhibit E, # (6) Exhibit F, # (7) Civil Cover Sheet)(rdj)

1 Exhibit A

View on PACER

2 Exhibit B

View on PACER

3 Exhibit C

View on PACER

4 Exhibit D

View on PACER

5 Exhibit E

View on PACER

6 Exhibit F

View on PACER

7 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

Nov. 8, 2011 RECAP
2

NOTICE OF RELATED CASE by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. Case related to Case No. 11-1972. (rdj)

Nov. 8, 2011 PACER
3

Summons Returned Unexecuted by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL as to All Defendants., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 11/10/2011. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 12/10/2011.) (Magid, Creighton)

Nov. 15, 2011 PACER
4

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 11/14/2011. (Magid, Creighton)

Nov. 23, 2011 PACER
5

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES served on 11/15/2011 (Magid, Creighton)

Nov. 23, 2011 PACER
6

NOTICE of Appearance by Marian L. Borum on behalf of All Defendants (Borum, Marian)

Dec. 8, 2011 PACER
7

MOTION for Extension of Time to Answer, Move or Otherwise Respond to Plaintiff's Complaint by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Borum, Marian)

Dec. 9, 2011 PACER
8

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Beth Jennifer Werlin, :Firm- American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center, :Address- 1331 G Street, N.W., Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20005. Phone No. - 202-507-7522. Fax No. - 202-742-5619 by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL (Attachments: # (1) Declaration Beth Jennifer Werlin, # (2) Text of Proposed Order)(Magid, Creighton)

Jan. 18, 2012 PACER
9

NOTICE of Appearance by Beth Jennifer Werlin on behalf of AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL (Werlin, Beth)

Jan. 26, 2012 PACER
10

NOTICE of Appearance by Melissa E. Crow on behalf of AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL (Crow, Melissa)

Jan. 26, 2012 PACER
11

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Dispositive Motion by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Borum, Marian)

Feb. 9, 2012 PACER
12

ENTERED IN ERROR.....Joint MOTION for Extension of Time to File Briefs by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Borum, Marian) Modified on 3/9/2012 (dr).

March 9, 2012 PACER
13

Joint MOTION for Extension of Time to File Briefs by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Borum, Marian)

March 9, 2012 PACER
14

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to file Defendants' dispositive motion by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Attachments: # (1) Text of Proposed Order)(Borum, Marian)

April 24, 2012 PACER
15

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Michelle S. Grant, :Firm- Dorsey & Whitney LLP, :Address- 50 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Phone No. - 612-340-5671. Fax No. - 612-340-2868 by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL (Attachments: # (1) Text of Proposed Order)(Magid, Creighton)

May 2, 2012 PACER
16

MOTION to Dismiss, MOTION for Summary Judgment by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Attachments: # (1) Declaration, # (2) Exhibit, # (3) Exhibit, # (4) Exhibit, # (5) Exhibit, # (6) Exhibit, # (7) Exhibit Vaughn Index)(Borum, Marian)

May 31, 2012 PACER
17

Memorandum in opposition to re [16] MOTION to Dismiss MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. (Attachments: # (1) Statement of Facts Response to Defendants' Statement of Material Facts as to Which There Is No Genuine Dispute, # (2) Declaration Declaration of Beth Werlin, # (3) Exhibit Exhibit A to Declaration of Beth Werlin, # (4) Exhibit Exhibit B to Declaration of Beth Werlin, # (5) Exhibit Exhibit C to Declaration of Beth Werlin, # (6) Declaration Declaration of Matthew Farr, # (7) Exhibit Exhibit A to Declaration of Matthew Farr, # (8) Declaration Declaration of Elise Fialkowski, # (9) Exhibit Exhibit A to Declaration of Elise Fialkowski, # (10) Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Werlin, Beth)

July 2, 2012 PACER
18

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to [16] MOTION to Dismiss MOTION for Summary Judgment by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Borum, Marian)

July 12, 2012 PACER
19

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to [16] MOTION to Dismiss MOTION for Summary Judgment by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Borum, Marian)

Aug. 15, 2012 PACER
20

REPLY to opposition to motion re [16] MOTION to Dismiss MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Attachments: # (1) Declaration, # (2) Exhibit)(Borum, Marian)

Sept. 6, 2012 PACER
21

ORDER granting in part and denying in part [16] Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and for Summary Judgment. Defendants' Motion is GRANTED as to the Second Cause of Action, which is DISMISSED AS MOOT. Defendants' Motion is GRANTED as to the portions of the Complaint relating to released records, which are DISMISSED AS MOOT. Defendants' Motion is DENIED as to the adequacy of Defendants' search. Defendants' Motion is DENIED as to Defendants' withholdings under Exemption 5 for (using the numbering of records on pages 15-18 of [17] Plaintiff's Opposition Brief): Records 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 12, and 15 in full; FOIA response pages 1904-06 of Record 10, except for the first two e-mails on page 1904; and Record 13 in full, except for the internal meeting minutes. Defendants must make all of those records and portions of records available to Plaintiff. Defendants' Motion is GRANTED as to other withholdings under Exemption 5 and all withholdings under Exemption 6. On or before December 13, 2012, the parties shall submit a joint proposed schedule for the remainder of the case. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 11/27/2012. (lcjeb2)

Nov. 27, 2012 PACER
22

MEMORANDUM OPINION to [21] Order. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 11/27/2012. (lcjeb2)

Nov. 27, 2012 RECAP
23

Joint MOTION for Briefing Schedule by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Borum, Marian)

Dec. 13, 2012 PACER
24

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Borum, Marian)

March 13, 2013 PACER
25

STIPULATION of Settlement and Dismissal by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. (Grant, Michelle)

March 15, 2013 PACER
26

MOTION Publish Court's November 27, 2012 Opinion by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL (Grant, Michelle) (Entered: 05/29/2013)

May 29, 2013

MINUTE ORDER: Plaintiff has filed a 26 Motion to Publish the Court's November 27, 2012, Opinion. Such a motion is perplexing for two reasons. First, it is West Publishing, not this Court, that decides which opinions to publish in its Federal Supplement. Second, in addition to publishing the Opinion in Westlaw, West has already determined it will publish this Opinion in the Federal Supplement, as a quick Westlaw search reveals. See Am. Immigration Council v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., −− F. Supp. 2d −−, 2012 WL 5928643 (D.D.C. Nov. 27, 2012). Plaintiff's Motion, accordingly, is DENIED as moot. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 5/30/2013. (lcjeb2) (Entered: 05/30/2013)

May 30, 2013

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 8, 2011

Closing Date: 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The American Immigration Council is an immigrant rights advocacy organization.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Voluntary Dismissal

Amount Defendant Pays: $45,000

Order Duration: 2013 - None

Content of Injunction:

Required disclosure

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Records Disclosure