Case: Tuaua v. United States of America

1:12-cv-01143 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: July 10, 2012

Closed Date: 2015

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On July 10, 2012, a group of American Samoans and the Samoan Federation of America filed this lawsuit in the D.C. Circuit Court. They sued the U.S. Department of State under the Federal Declaratory Judgment Act of 1934. The plaintiffs, represented by the Constitutional Accountability Center, asked the court for both declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that their classification as "non-citizen nationals" instead of U.S. citizens was forbidden by the Citizens…

On July 10, 2012, a group of American Samoans and the Samoan Federation of America filed this lawsuit in the D.C. Circuit Court. They sued the U.S. Department of State under the Federal Declaratory Judgment Act of 1934. The plaintiffs, represented by the Constitutional Accountability Center, asked the court for both declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that their classification as "non-citizen nationals" instead of U.S. citizens was forbidden by the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and asked that they be given full citizen rights.

The plaintiffs argued that American Samoa, as within the limits and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, should fall under the Citizenship Clause, i.e. all individuals born in the region should be granted full U.S. citizenship. As of 2015, American Samoans were classified as "non-citizen nationals," a designation which denied them the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury, and the ability to hold certain public sector positions.

On June 26, 2013, the Court (Judge Richard L. Leon) granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that it failed to state a claim. 951 F. Supp. 2d 88 (D.D.C. 2013). The plaintiffs appealed this dismissal. The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit considered their case but ultimately affirmed the Circuit Court decision and ruled in favor of the defendants on June 5, 2015.

The plaintiffs filed a motion for a rehearing en banc, but the motion was denied on October 2, 2015.

The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Allison Hight (10/10/2015)

Virginia Weeks (2/19/2018)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4211615/parties/tuaua-v-united-states-of-america/


Judge(s)

Leon, Richard J. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ala'ilima, Charles (American Samoa)

Hussain, Murad (District of Columbia)

Katerberg, Robert J (District of Columbia)

Schaeffer, Judith Ellen (District of Columbia)

Weare, Neil C. (District of Columbia)

Wydra, Elizabeth B. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Kelly, Wynne Patrick (District of Columbia)

Swain, Frank S. (District of Columbia)

Other Attorney(s)

Active

Judge(s)

Leon, Richard J. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ala'ilima, Charles (American Samoa)

Hussain, Murad (District of Columbia)

Katerberg, Robert J (District of Columbia)

Schaeffer, Judith Ellen (District of Columbia)

Weare, Neil C. (District of Columbia)

Wydra, Elizabeth B. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Kelly, Wynne Patrick (District of Columbia)

Swain, Frank S. (District of Columbia)

Other Attorney(s)

Locke, Elizabeth M. (Virginia)

Williams, Michael F. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:12-cv-01143

Docket

April 23, 2014

April 23, 2014

Docket
1

1:12-cv-01143

Complaint

July 10, 2012

July 10, 2012

Complaint
24

1:12-cv-01143

Memorandum Opinion

951 F.Supp.2d 88

June 26, 2013

June 26, 2013

Order/Opinion
1555940

13-05272

Opinion

Tuaua v. United States

U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

788 F.3d 300

June 5, 2015

June 5, 2015

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4211615/tuaua-v-united-states-of-america/

Last updated Aug. 2, 2022, 3:19 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 350 receipt number 0090-2997713) filed by SAMOAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA, INC., FANUATANU FAUESALA LIFA MAMEA, VA'ALEAMA TOVIA FOSI, TAFFY-LEI T. MAENE, LENEUOTI FIAFIA TUAUA, EMY FIATALA AFALAVA. (Attachments: # (1) Exhibit EXHIBIT A, # (2) Civil Cover Sheet, # (3) Summons, # (4) Summons, # (5) Summons, # (6) Summons, # (7) Summons)(Hussain, Murad)

1 Exhibit EXHIBIT A

View on PACER

2 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

3 Summons

View on PACER

4 Summons

View on PACER

5 Summons

View on PACER

6 Summons

View on PACER

7 Summons

View on PACER

July 10, 2012

July 10, 2012

RECAP
2

LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by SAMOAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA, INC. (Hussain, Murad)

July 10, 2012

July 10, 2012

PACER
3

Electronic Summons (4) Issued as to HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, JANICE JACOBS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (Attachments: # (1) Summons, # (2) Summons, # (3) Summons, # (4) Summons, # (5) Consent Notices)(ls, )

July 11, 2012

July 11, 2012

PACER
4

STANDING ORDER. Signed by Judge Richard J. Leon on 7/17/2012. (lcrjl1)

July 17, 2012

July 17, 2012

PACER
5

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON served on 7/19/2012; JANICE JACOBS served on 7/19/2012; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE served on 7/19/2012; UNITED STATES OF AMERICA served on 7/19/2012, RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 07/19/2012., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 7/19/2012. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 9/17/2012.) (Attachments: # (1) Exhibit, # (2) Exhibit, # (3) Exhibit)(Hussain, Murad)

Aug. 1, 2012

Aug. 1, 2012

PACER
6

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re [1] Complaint, by HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, JANICE JACOBS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Attachments: # (1) Text of Proposed Order)(Kelly, Wynne)

Sept. 14, 2012

Sept. 14, 2012

PACER
7

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re [1] Complaint, by HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, JANICE JACOBS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Attachments: # (1) Text of Proposed Order)(Kelly, Wynne)

Oct. 16, 2012

Oct. 16, 2012

PACER
8

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re [1] Complaint, Due to Hurricane Sandy by HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, JANICE JACOBS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Attachments: # (1) Text of Proposed Order)(Kelly, Wynne)

Oct. 31, 2012

Oct. 31, 2012

PACER
9

MOTION to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint by HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, JANICE JACOBS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Attachments: # (1) Text of Proposed Order)(Kelly, Wynne)

Nov. 7, 2012

Nov. 7, 2012

PACER
10

MOTION for Leave to File AMICUS CURIAE by ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA (Attachments: # (1) Proposed Amicus Brief, # (2) Text of Proposed Order)(rdj)

Nov. 8, 2012

Nov. 8, 2012

PACER
11

NOTICE OF NON-OPPOSITION TO THE MOTION OF THE HONORABLE ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA FOR LEAVE TO APPEAR AS AMICUS CURIAE by EMY FIATALA AFALAVA, VA'ALEAMA TOVIA FOSI, TAFFY-LEI T. MAENE, FANUATANU FAUESALA LIFA MAMEA, SAMOAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA, INC., LENEUOTI FIAFIA TUAUA re [10] MOTION for Leave to File (Hussain, Murad)

Nov. 13, 2012

Nov. 13, 2012

PACER
12

AMICUS BRIEF by ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA. (znmw, )

Nov. 15, 2012

Nov. 15, 2012

RECAP
13

Joint MOTION for Briefing Schedule (Joint Motion to Revise Existing Filing Deadlines and Set a Briefing Schedule) by EMY FIATALA AFALAVA, VA'ALEAMA TOVIA FOSI, TAFFY-LEI T. MAENE, FANUATANU FAUESALA LIFA MAMEA, SAMOAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA, INC., LENEUOTI FIAFIA TUAUA (Hussain, Murad)

Nov. 19, 2012

Nov. 19, 2012

PACER
14

NOTICE of Appearance by Judith Ellen Schaeffer on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Schaeffer, Judith)

Nov. 28, 2012

Nov. 28, 2012

PACER
15

NOTICE of Appearance by Robert J. Katerberg on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Katerberg, Robert)

Nov. 29, 2012

Nov. 29, 2012

PACER
16

NOTICE of Appearance by Neil C. Weare on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Weare, Neil)

Nov. 29, 2012

Nov. 29, 2012

PACER
17

NOTICE of Appearance by Elizabeth Bonnie Wydra on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Wydra, Elizabeth)

Nov. 29, 2012

Nov. 29, 2012

PACER
18

Memorandum in opposition to re [9] MOTION to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint filed by EMY FIATALA AFALAVA, VA'ALEAMA TOVIA FOSI, TAFFY-LEI T. MAENE, FANUATANU FAUESALA LIFA MAMEA, SAMOAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA, INC., LENEUOTI FIAFIA TUAUA. (Attachments: # (1) Text of Proposed Order)(Hussain, Murad)

Dec. 7, 2012

Dec. 7, 2012

PACER
19

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by EMY FIATALA AFALAVA, VA'ALEAMA TOVIA FOSI, TAFFY-LEI T. MAENE, FANUATANU FAUESALA LIFA MAMEA, SAMOAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA, INC., LENEUOTI FIAFIA TUAUA re [18] Memorandum in Opposition, on Counsel for Amicus Curiae. (Hussain, Murad)

Dec. 7, 2012

Dec. 7, 2012

PACER
20

REPLY to opposition to motion re [9] MOTION to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint filed by HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, JANICE JACOBS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (Kelly, Wynne)

Dec. 12, 2012

Dec. 12, 2012

RECAP
21

REPLY to opposition to motion re [9] MOTION to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint by Amicus Curiae filed by ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA. (Williams, Michael)

Dec. 12, 2012

Dec. 12, 2012

PACER
22

NOTICE of Appearance by Michael F. Williams on behalf of ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA (Williams, Michael) (Main Document 22 replaced on 12/14/2012) (znmw, ).

Dec. 13, 2012

Dec. 13, 2012

PACER
23

MOTION to Intervene as a Defendant by AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNMENT (Attachments: # (1) Text of Proposed Order)(znmw, )

1 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

June 25, 2013

June 25, 2013

RECAP
24

MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Richard J. Leon on 6/26/2013. (kc )

June 26, 2013

June 26, 2013

RECAP
25

ORDER, For the reasons set forth in the accompanying Memorandum Opinion, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint [9] is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that plaintiffs' complaint is dismissed. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Richard J. Leon on 6/26/2013. (see order) (kc )

June 26, 2013

June 26, 2013

RECAP
26

NOTICE OF APPEAL TO DC CIRCUIT COURT as to [25] Order on Motion to Dismiss, by EMY FIATALA AFALAVA, VA'ALEAMA TOVIA FOSI, TAFFY-LEI T. MAENE, FANUATANU FAUESALA LIFA MAMEA, SAMOAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA, INC., LENEUOTI FIAFIA TUAUA. Filing fee $ 455, receipt number 0090-3442951. Fee Status: Fee Paid. Parties have been notified. (Hussain, Murad)

Aug. 23, 2013

Aug. 23, 2013

PACER
27

Transmission of the Notice of Appeal, Order Appealed, and Docket Sheet to US Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals fee was paid this date re [26] Notice of Appeal to DC Circuit Court,. (znmw, )

Aug. 26, 2013

Aug. 26, 2013

PACER
29

MANDATE of USCA (certified copy) as to 26 Notice of Appeal to DC Circuit Court, filed by FANUATANU FAUESALA LIFA MAMEA, VA'ALEAMA TOVIA FOSI, EMY FIATALA AFALAVA, TAFFY-LEI T. MAENE, LENEUOTI FIAFIA TUAUA, SAMOAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA, INC. ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the judgment of the District Court appealed from in this cause is hereby affirmed. USCA Case Number 13- 5272. (vt) (Entered: 10/16/2015)

Oct. 13, 2015

Oct. 13, 2015

28

TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS before Judge Richard J. Leon held on 12/17/12; Date of Issuance:4/22/14. Court Reporter/Transcriber Patty Gels, Telephone number 202-354-3236, Court Reporter Email Address : Patty_Gels@dcd.uscourts.gov.<P></P>For the first 90 days after this filing date, the transcript may be viewed at the courthouse at a public terminal or purchased from the court reporter referenced above. After 90 days, the transcript may be accessed via PACER. Other transcript formats, (multi-page, condensed, CD or ASCII) may be purchased from the court reporter.<P>NOTICE RE REDACTION OF TRANSCRIPTS: The parties have twenty-one days to file with the court and the court reporter any request to redact personal identifiers from this transcript. If no such requests are filed, the transcript will be made available to the public via PACER without redaction after 90 days. The policy, which includes the five personal identifiers specifically covered, is located on our website at ww.dcd.uscourts.gov.<P></P> Redaction Request due 5/14/2014. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 5/24/2014. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 7/22/2014.(Gels, Patty)

April 23, 2014

April 23, 2014

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 10, 2012

Closing Date: 2015

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Citizens of American Samoa

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 State, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

Discrimination-basis:

Immigration status

National origin discrimination

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Other