Case: ACLU of Washington v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security

2:17-cv-00562 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

Filed Date: April 12, 2017

Closed Date: Feb. 26, 2019

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On April 12, 2017, the ACLUs of Washington, Montana, and North Dakota filed this suit against the United States under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This was one of over a dozen such suits; each aimed to shed light on how U.S. Customs and Border Protection implemented President Trump's Jan. 27 and Mar. 6 Executive Orders that ban admission to the U.S. of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Specifically, plaintiffs sought information "concerning CBP’s local i…

On April 12, 2017, the ACLUs of Washington, Montana, and North Dakota filed this suit against the United States under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This was one of over a dozen such suits; each aimed to shed light on how U.S. Customs and Border Protection implemented President Trump's Jan. 27 and Mar. 6 Executive Orders that ban admission to the U.S. of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Specifically, plaintiffs sought information "concerning CBP’s local implementation of President Trump’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order...as well as any other judicial order or executive directive issued regarding Executive Order No. 1, including President Trump’s March 6, 2017 Executive Order." The request concerned implementation at international airports within the purview of CBP's Seattle Field Office, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Fargo-Hector International Airport. The request also concerned the number of individuals who were detained or subjected to secondary screening, extended questioning, enforcement examination, or consideration for a waiver at the aforementioned airports pursuant to the EO.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs argued that the requested records "would facilitate the public’s understanding of how Defendants implemented and enforced the Executive Orders" and that "[s]uch information is critical to the public’s ability to hold the government accountable."

The case was assigned to Judge Robert S. Lasnik.

On May 8, the government filed a motion to treat all of these FOIA cases as "multidistrict litigation" effectively consolidating them before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. For the transfer motion see this case. The ACLU filed an opposition to the motion to transfer on May 30, arguing that "[g]ranting consolidation and transfer would promote forum-shopping and delay, not justice." On Aug. 3, the U.S. District Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation denied the government's consolidation motion. In its order, the Panel found that although the thirteen FOIA cases share "a limited number of factual issues," these issues "appear relatively straightforward and unlikely to entail extensive pretrial proceedings."

The case was reassigned to Judge Marsha J. Pechman on Aug. 31.

Litigation continued over a possible production schedule and appropriate search parameters for the government to use in responding to the FOIA request. In proceedings held on Oct. 17, 2017, and in an order issued on Jan. 12, 2018, the court directed the government to turn over documents responsive to the ACLU's FOIA requests.

As of a status report filed on Mar. 2, 2018, the government finished processing and producing all records responsive to the FOIA request. The May 1, 2018, status report indicated the parties were in discussions to streamline final resolution of the case. The parties requested a discovery deadline of Nov. 1, 2018, and for dispositive motions to be filed by Jan. 31, 2019.

On February 25, 2019, the parties filed a stipulation and proposed order for dismissal, which Judge Pechman signed on February 26, 2019, dismissing all claims with prejudice. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Virginia Weeks (4/24/2017)

Virginia Weeks (5/2/2018)

Jamie Kessler (8/7/2017)

Caitlin Kierum (3/21/2020)

Related Cases

American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai'i v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Northern District of California (2017)

American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Southern District of California (2017)

American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Eastern District of Virginia (2017)

American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Northern District of Illinois (2017)

American Civil Liberties Union of Maine v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, District of Maine (2017)

ACLU Foundation of Texas v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Southern District of Texas (2017)

American Civil Liberties Union of Florida v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Southern District of Florida (2017)

ACLU of Southern California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Central District of California (2017)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6098724/parties/american-civil-liberties-union-of-washington-v-us-department-of-homeland/


Judge(s)

Breyer, Charles R. (California)

Huvelle, Ellen Segal (District of Columbia)

Kaplan, Lewis A. (New York)

Lasnik, Robert S. (Washington)

Pechman, Marsha J. (Washington)

Perry, Catherine D. (Missouri)

Proctor, R. David (Alabama)

Vance, Sarah S. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Chiang, Emily (Washington)

Stahl, Eric (Washington)

Judge(s)

Breyer, Charles R. (California)

Huvelle, Ellen Segal (District of Columbia)

Kaplan, Lewis A. (New York)

Lasnik, Robert S. (Washington)

Pechman, Marsha J. (Washington)

Perry, Catherine D. (Missouri)

Proctor, R. David (Alabama)

Vance, Sarah S. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Chiang, Emily (Washington)

Stahl, Eric (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Berns, Matthew (District of Columbia)

Hayes, Annette L. (Washington)

Lee, Jason (District of Columbia)

Patil, Chetan Adinath (District of Columbia)

Readler, Chad Andrew (District of Columbia)

Shapiro, Elizabeth J. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Feb. 26, 2019 Docket
1

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief for Violation of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552

April 12, 2017 Complaint
28

Order Denying Transfer

In re: American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests Regarding Executive Order 13769

261 F.Supp.3d 1348

Aug. 2, 2017 Order/Opinion
53

Stipulation and Order for Dismissal

Feb. 26, 2019 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

ACLU Files Lawsuits Demanding Local Documents on Implementation of Trump Muslim Ban

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

American Civil Liberties Union affiliates across the country filed 13 Freedom of Information Act lawsuits today demanding government documents about the on-the-ground implementation of President Trum… April 12, 2017 https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-files-lawsuits-demanding-local-documents-implementation-trump-muslim-ban

We Sued for Records About Trump’s Muslim Bans. Here’s What We Found Out.

Vera Eidelman

On February 2, 2017, 50 ACLU affiliates submitted FOIA requests seeking information about Customs and Border Protection’s on-the-ground implementation of the Muslim Bans at field offices around the c… Oct. 24, 2017 https://www.aclu.org/blog/immigrants-rights/ice-and-border-patrol-abuses/we-sued-records-about-trumps-muslim-bans-heres

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6098724/american-civil-liberties-union-of-washington-v-us-department-of-homeland/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against defendant(s) U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Receipt # 0981-4837936), filed by American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons)(Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 04/12/2017)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

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2 Summons

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April 12, 2017 PACER

Judge Robert S. Lasnik added. (RE)

April 13, 2017 PACER
2

Summons electronically issued as to all Defendants. (RE) (Entered: 04/13/2017)

April 13, 2017 PACER
3

NOTICE of Pendency of Other Action ; filed by Plaintiffs American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 04/18/2017)

April 18, 2017 PACER
4

CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT Filed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P 7.1. Filed by American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 04/18/2017)

April 18, 2017 PACER
5

AFFIDAVIT of Service of Summons and Complaint on U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection on 4/14/2017, filed by Plaintiffs American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 04/27/2017)

April 27, 2017 PACER
6

AFFIDAVIT of Mailing of Summons and Complaint to U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection on 4/14/2017, filed by Plaintiffs American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 04/27/2017)

April 27, 2017 PACER
7

NOTICE of Appearance by attorney Matthew J Berns on behalf of Defendants U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (Berns, Matthew) (Entered: 05/08/2017)

May 8, 2017 PACER
8

NOTICE of Pendency of Other Action in Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, case number in other court [not yet assigned] ; filed by Defendants U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit 1 - Transfer Motion, # 3 Exhibit 2 - Supporting Memorandum, # 4 Exhibit 3 - Schedule of Actions)(Berns, Matthew) (Entered: 05/08/2017)

1 Index of Exhibits

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2 Exhibit 1 - Transfer Motion

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3 Exhibit 2 - Supporting Memorandum

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4 Exhibit 3 - Schedule of Actions

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May 8, 2017 PACER
9

ORDER REGARDING JOINT STATUS REPORT Joint Status Report due by 5/26/2017, by Judge Robert S. Lasnik. (RS) (Entered: 05/10/2017)

May 9, 2017 PACER
10

Stipulated MOTION for Extension of Time to Respond to Complaint with Proposed Order, filed by Defendants U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Noting Date 5/10/2017, (Berns, Matthew) (Entered: 05/10/2017)

May 10, 2017 PACER
11

MOTION to Stay Proceedings Pending Decision on Motion to Transfer, filed by Defendants U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order) Noting Date 5/26/2017, (Berns, Matthew) (Entered: 05/11/2017)

1 Proposed Order

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May 11, 2017 PACER
12

ORDER granting 10 Stipulated Motion for extension of deadline to 6/29/17 to respond to complaint; Joint Status Report extended to 6/20/2017 7/20/2017, by Judge Robert S. Lasnik.(RS) Modified on 5/19/2017 (KERR). (Entered: 05/11/2017)

May 11, 2017 RECAP
13

NOTICE of defendants' motion to transfer to MDL Panel (RS) (Entered: 05/15/2017)

May 11, 2017 PACER

NOTICE of Docket Text Modification re 12 Order on Stipulated Motion. Changed deadline for Joint Status report from 6/20/2017 to 7/20/2017. (KERR)

May 19, 2017 PACER

Reset Deadline: Joint Status Report due by 7/20/2017 (KERR)

May 19, 2017 PACER
14

NOTICE of Appearance by attorney Chetan Patil on behalf of Defendants U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (Patil, Chetan) (Entered: 05/19/2017)

May 19, 2017 PACER
15

RESPONSE, by Plaintiffs American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, to 11 MOTION to Stay Proceedings Pending Decision on Motion to Transfer. (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 05/22/2017)

May 22, 2017 PACER
16

REPLY, filed by Defendants U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, TO RESPONSE to 11 MOTION to Stay Proceedings Pending Decision on Motion to Transfer (Patil, Chetan) (Entered: 05/26/2017)

May 26, 2017 PACER
18

NOTICE of Appearance by Patrick S. Kabat in re: American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Information Act, MDL No. 2786. (SWT) (Entered: 05/31/2017)

May 26, 2017 PACER
19

CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT filed by Patrick Kabut in re American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Information Act, MDL 2786. (SWT) (Entered: 05/31/2017)

May 26, 2017 PACER
17

NOTICE of Filing Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Transfer to the District of Columbia for Consolidation ; filed by Plaintiffs American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum of Plaintiffs, 42 American Civil Liberties Union Affiliates, in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Transfer to the District of Columbia for Consolidation)(Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 05/31/2017)

1 Memorandum of Plaintiffs, 42 American Civil Liberties Union Affiliates, in Oppo

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May 31, 2017 PACER
21

NOTICE of documents filed with MDL Panel re MDL 2786 (RS) (Entered: 06/06/2017)

June 5, 2017 PACER
20

ORDER denying Defendants' 11 Motion to Stay Proceedings Pending Decision on Motion to Transfer. Signed by Judge Robert S. Lasnik. (SWT) (Entered: 06/06/2017)

June 6, 2017 RECAP
22

NOTICE of Filing of JPML Reply Brief ; filed by Defendants U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (Attachments: # 1 JPML Reply Brief)(Berns, Matthew) (Entered: 06/06/2017)

1 JPML Reply Brief

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June 6, 2017 PACER
23

NOTICE of documents filed with MDL Panel re: MDL 2786. (Notice filed in paper via the U.S. Mail) (PM) (Entered: 06/14/2017)

June 12, 2017 PACER
24

ANSWER to 1 Complaint, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.(Patil, Chetan) (Entered: 06/29/2017)

June 29, 2017 PACER
25

AMENDED NOTICE of Presentation or Waiver of Oral Argument re MDL no. 2786 ; filed by Plaintiffs American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. (SWT) (Entered: 07/12/2017)

July 10, 2017 PACER
26

JOINT STATUS REPORT signed by all parties estimated Trial Days: 0. (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 07/20/2017)

July 20, 2017 RECAP
27

ORDER Extending Time to Submit Joint Status Report; Joint Status Report due by 8/25/2017, signed by Judge Robert S. Lasnik. (SWT) (Entered: 07/28/2017)

July 28, 2017 PACER
28

ORDER denying transfer re MDL 2786, in re: American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests Regarding Executive Order 13769; signed by Sarah S. Vance, Chair of Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.(SWT) (Entered: 08/02/2017)

Aug. 2, 2017 PACER
29

JOINT STATUS REPORT signed by all parties (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 08/25/2017)

Aug. 25, 2017 PACER

Case Reassigned to Judge Marsha J. Pechman. Judge Robert S. Lasnik no longer assigned to the case. All pleadings filed in the future shall bear case number C17-562MJP. (KERR)

Aug. 31, 2017 PACER
30

NOTICE of Appearance by attorney Jason Lee on behalf of Defendants U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (Lee, Jason) (Entered: 09/01/2017)

Sept. 1, 2017 PACER
31

MINUTE ORDER Extending Time to Submit Joint Status Report. Joint Status Report due by 9/25/2017. Authorized by Judge Marsha J. Pechman. (RM) (Entered: 09/05/2017)

Sept. 5, 2017 PACER
32

JOINT STATUS REPORT signed by all parties estimated Trial Days: 0. (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 09/25/2017)

Sept. 25, 2017 PACER
33

NOTICE of Hearing: Status Conference set for 10/17/2017 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 14206 before Judge Marsha J. Pechman.(RM) (Entered: 09/28/2017)

Sept. 28, 2017 PACER
34

MINUTE ENTRY for proceedings held before Judge Marsha J. Pechman- Dep Clerk: Rhonda Miller; Pla Counsel: Eric Stahl; Def Counsel: Jason Lee, Lawrence Lucarelli; CR: Andrea Ramirez; Status Conference held on 10/17/2017. Court directs Plaintiff to provide the Government with search terms within seven days. The Government is directed to turn over the first 1000 pages of documents responsive to the FOIA request within 30 days. The next 1000 pages are due within 60 days and any remaining pages are due within 90 days. (RM) (Entered: 10/18/2017)

Oct. 17, 2017 PACER
35

PROPOSED ORDER (Unsigned) (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 10/19/2017)

Oct. 19, 2017 PACER
36

ORDER re Status Conference on 10/17/17; By January 31, 2018, the parties shall submit a joint status report and proposed case schedule to the Court (See Order for more details), signed by Judge Marsha J. Pechman. (SWT) (Entered: 10/20/2017)

Oct. 20, 2017 RECAP
37

NOTICE OF FILING OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT of Status Hearing held on 10/17/2017 before Judge Marsha J. Pechman.Parties have seven (7) calendar days to file with the court a Notice of Intent to Request Redaction of this transcript. If no such Notice is filed, the transcript may be made remotely electronically available to the public without redaction after 90 calendar days.Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Information regarding the policy can be found on the court's website at www.wawd.uscourts.gov.To purchase a copy of the transcript, contact court reporter Andrea Ramirez, andrea_ramirez@wawd.uscourts.gov, 206-370-8509. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 2/5/2018, (AR) (Entered: 11/06/2017)

Nov. 6, 2017 PACER
38

NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF COUNSEL: Attorney Matthew J Berns and Chetan Patil for Defendants U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (Patil, Chetan) (Entered: 12/26/2017)

Dec. 26, 2017 PACER
39

STIPULATION AND PROPOSED ORDER by parties (Lee, Jason) (Entered: 01/10/2018)

Jan. 10, 2018 RECAP
40

STIPULATION AND ORDER signed by Judge Marsha J. Pechman. Defendants shall complete their review and processing of the remaining, approximately 150 outstanding records identified as potentially responsive to Plaintiffs' FOIA request, and produce to Plaintiffs all non-exempt, responsive records, by January 19, 2018. (PM) (Entered: 01/12/2018)

Jan. 12, 2018 RECAP
41

STIPULATION AND PROPOSED ORDER by parties (Lee, Jason) (Entered: 01/29/2018)

Jan. 29, 2018 PACER
42

STIPULATION AND ORDER continuing the deadline to submit the Joint Status Report from 1/31/2018 to 3/2/2018. Signed by Judge Marsha J. Pechman. (PM) (Entered: 01/31/2018)

Jan. 31, 2018 RECAP
43

JOINT STATUS REPORT signed by all parties (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Lee, Jason) (Entered: 03/02/2018)

1 Proposed Order

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March 2, 2018 PACER
44

MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' joint motion to set deadline for subsequent joint status report, it is ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED and the parties shall file a joint status report by 5/1/2018. Authorized by Judge Marsha J. Pechman. (RM) (Entered: 03/06/2018)

March 6, 2018 PACER
45

JOINT STATUS REPORT and joint motion to set case deadlines signed by all parties (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Lee, Jason) Modified on 5/2/2018 (RM). (Entered: 05/01/2018)

1 Proposed Order

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May 1, 2018 PACER
46

ORDER re 45 Joint Status Report and Joint Motion to Set Case Deadlines. Discovery completed by 11/1/2018, Dispositive motions due by 1/31/2019. Signed by Judge Marsha J. Pechman. (PM) (Entered: 05/03/2018)

May 3, 2018 RECAP
47

NOTICE of Change of Address/Change of Name of Attorney Eric M Stahl. Filed by Plaintiffs American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. (Stahl, Eric) Modified firm address on 12/4/2018 (DS). (Entered: 11/15/2018)

Nov. 15, 2018 PACER
48

Agreed MOTION to Stay, filed by Defendants U.S. Customs and Border Protection, US Department of Homeland Security. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order) Noting Date 1/23/2019, (Lee, Jason) (Entered: 01/23/2019)

1 Proposed Order

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Jan. 23, 2019 PACER
49

ORDER granting Defendants' 48 Consent Motion to Stay in Light of Lapse of Appropriations. Parties shall file a Joint Status Report within thirty days of the restoration of appropriations. Signed by Judge Marsha J. Pechman.(SWT) (Entered: 01/24/2019)

Jan. 24, 2019 RECAP
50

NOTICE of Restoration of Appropriations ; filed by Defendants U.S. Customs and Border Protection, US Department of Homeland Security. (Lee, Jason) (Entered: 01/28/2019)

Jan. 28, 2019 PACER

Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 2/25/2019. (RM)

Jan. 29, 2019 PACER

NOTICE REGARDING LACK OF PROPER SIGNATURE. The 50 Notice of Restoration of Appropriations was improperly signed by Jason Lee. Signatures must comply with ECF Filing Procedures. Please file corrected signature page using Praecipe to Attach event and link to original filing. (PM)

Jan. 29, 2019 PACER
51

PRAECIPE to attach document re 50 Notice-Other by Defendants U.S. Customs and Border Protection, US Department of Homeland Security (Lee, Jason) (Entered: 01/29/2019)

Jan. 29, 2019 PACER
52

STIPULATION AND PROPOSED ORDER For Dismissal by parties (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 02/25/2019)

Feb. 25, 2019 RECAP
53

STIPULATION AND ORDER for Dismissal re parties' 52 Stipulation, signed by Judge Marsha J. Pechman. (SWT) (Entered: 02/26/2019)

Feb. 26, 2019 RECAP

State / Territory: Washington

Case Type(s):

National Security

Special Collection(s):

Trump Administration FOIA cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 12, 2017

Closing Date: Feb. 26, 2019

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

State ACLU organizations

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

United States , Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Issues

General:

Racial profiling

Record-keeping

Records Disclosure

Religious programs / policies

Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues

Watchlist

Discrimination-basis:

Immigration status

National origin discrimination

Religion discrimination

Type of Facility:

Government-run

Immigration/Border:

Admission - criteria

Admission - procedure

Asylum - criteria

Asylum - procedure

Border police

Detention - conditions

Detention - criteria

Detention - procedures

Refugees

Status/Classification

Visas - criteria

Visas - procedures

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern