Case: Ramirez-Rangel v. Kitsap County (WA)

12-2094544 | Washington state trial court

Filed Date: Jan. 31, 2012

Closed Date: 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On 01/31/2012, three Latino individuals filed suit in Washington state court against Kitsap County (WA) after an incident in which they had been confined by Kitsap County Sheriff's officers. The officers' actions, according to the complaint, resulted in the unlawful seizure, detention, and arrest of the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs were represented by private counsel and the ACLU of Washington. Two years before the lawsuit was filed, the plaintiffs were returning from a shift gathering oysters wh…

On 01/31/2012, three Latino individuals filed suit in Washington state court against Kitsap County (WA) after an incident in which they had been confined by Kitsap County Sheriff's officers. The officers' actions, according to the complaint, resulted in the unlawful seizure, detention, and arrest of the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs were represented by private counsel and the ACLU of Washington.

Two years before the lawsuit was filed, the plaintiffs were returning from a shift gathering oysters when they were pulled over for driving with a defective headlight. This initial seizure, they alleged, was a pretext for the officers to stop and investigate them; no citation was issued for the defective headlight. The individual driving the car produced both his driver's license and a valid commercial fishing permit for their oyster-gathering. Nevertheless, the defendants ran a background check on the individuals in the car, though Plaintiffs had no outstanding warrants. The defendants then proceeded to question the plaintiffs about their immigration statuses, at which point they contacted U.S. Customs and Border Control, detaining Plaintiffs in their vehicle, under threat of arrest, until a Border Patrol agent arrived about an hour later.

The plaintiffs claimed the Sheriff's Officers had violated Article I, Section 7 of the Washington Constitution, which states, "No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law." The defendants' actions, Plaintiffs stated, thus constituted a warrantless seizure of the Plaintiffs. The plaintiffs additionally alleged they had been subjected to false arrest at the hands of the defendants. Accordingly, in addition to damages, the plaintiffs requested a declaration that Defendants may not (1) enforce federal immigration law or (2) prolong a detention to interrogate individuals about their immigration statuses.

Defendants moved for entry of final judgment, and Plaintiffs for summary judgment. The Court (Judge Kathryn J. Nelson) denied Defendants' motion and granted Plaintiffs', finding them entitled to declaratory judgment as a matter of law. As Plaintiffs had requested, the Court held the defendants lacked authority both to enforce federal immigration law and to prolong a detention for the sake of questioning individuals about their immigration statuses and concluded the defendants violated Plaintiffs' rights under the Washington Constitution.

Summary Authors

David Postel (4/8/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Nelson, Kathryn J. (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Adams, Matthew (Matt) Hyrum (Washington)

Baker, La Rond (Washington)

Dunne, Sarah A. (Washington)

Jones, Karin D. (Washington)

Norton, Marlene R. (Washington)

Robinson, Skylee (Washington)

Talner, Nancy Lynn (Washington)

Judge(s)

Nelson, Kathryn J. (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Adams, Matthew (Matt) Hyrum (Washington)

Baker, La Rond (Washington)

Dunne, Sarah A. (Washington)

Jones, Karin D. (Washington)

Norton, Marlene R. (Washington)

Robinson, Skylee (Washington)

Talner, Nancy Lynn (Washington)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

122095944

Complaint for Damages and Declaratory Relief

Ramirez-Rangel v. Kitsap County

Jan. 31, 2012

Jan. 31, 2012

Complaint

122095944

Court’s Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and Denying Defendants’ Cr 56 Motion for Entry of Final Judgment

Ramirez-Rangel v. Kitsap County

Aug. 16, 2013

Aug. 16, 2013

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 19, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Washington

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 31, 2012

Closing Date: 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Three Latino individuals.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Kitsap County (Kingston, Kitsap), County

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

False arrest

Over/Unlawful Detention

Racial profiling

Search policies

Discrimination-basis:

Immigration status

Language discrimination

National origin discrimination

Language:

Spanish

Immigration/Border:

Constitutional rights

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Hispanic