Case: Rios-Diaz v. Butler

2:13-cv-00077 | U.S. District Court for the District of Montana

Filed Date: Oct. 7, 2013

Closed Date: April 3, 2020

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 7, 2013, a group of Latino men and the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (MIJA) filed this putative class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana. Plaintiffs sued the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) and Montana Department of Justice under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, claimed violations of the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments' prohibition on unreasonable searches a…

On October 7, 2013, a group of Latino men and the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (MIJA) filed this putative class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana. Plaintiffs sued the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) and Montana Department of Justice under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, claimed violations of the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments' prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures; and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.). Plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as attorney’s fees.

Plaintiffs sought class status to represent “[a]ll Latino persons who, since October 7, 2010, have been or will be in the future, stopped, detained, questioned or searched by Montana Highway Patrol officers while driving or sitting in a vehicle on a public roadway or parking area in the State of Montana.”

Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants had a pattern and practice of seizing Latino residents and visitors of Montana and “prolonging their detention” for the sole purpose of contacting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) based on suspicions of immigration status violations, which was not within the authority of MHP. Plaintiffs alleged MHP used racial profiling to form their suspicions regarding immigration status and used deceptive practices to detain Latino residents and visitors.

Specifically, one of the named plaintiffs in this case alleged he was pulled over for a speeding violation, then asked repeated questions regarding his citizenship and whether he was in the country legally. He was a U.S. citizen, but was subjected to prolonged detention during which members of the MHP contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), even after production of a valid Montana driver’s license. A second named plaintiff alleged he was asked to produce identification as the passenger of a vehicle. He and the driver were detained for two hours while DHS was contacted to inquire about their immigration status; no traffic violation or any other citation was issued for this stop.

On December 3, 2013, Judge Sam E. Haddon recused himself from the case. The case was reassigned to Judge Dana L. Christensen.

On December 6, 2013, the defendants moved to dismiss the complaint. They argued that the state law claims were barred by Eleventh Amendment immunity; that Title VI did not apply to individuals, yet plaintiffs were suing individuals; and that plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claims were “doubled up” with the equal protection claims. Based on an April 1, 2014 report issued by Magistrate Judge Carolyn S. Otsby, on July 25, 2014, Judge Christensen dismissed the state law claims but denied the motion to dismiss the Title VI and Fourth Amendment claims.

The parties proceeded to discovery, but on April 3, 2015, Judge Christensen approved a settlement agreement. Under the terms of the settlement, MHP would adhere to its policy GR-9, which stated that Highway Patrol officers cannot detain individuals solely for the purpose of verifying immigration status or stop individuals on the basis of race or national origin, among other descriptors. The settlement further provided for training for MHP officers on this policy and also began requiring officers to log when and if they contacted DHS during the course of a traffic stop. In addition, the defendants agreed to pay for racial profiling studies done by an independent authority over a five year period; to post annual reports regarding racial profiling and steps taken to address it on the Montana Department of Justice website; and to establish an Independent Police Auditor to review investigations of complaints. Finally, the consent decree stated that the defendants would pay the plaintiffs' attorneys fees, but there was no later order as to the exact amount.

The consent decree ended on April 3, 2020 without any motions for enforcement.

Summary Authors

Rachel Czwartacky (6/3/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14396165/parties/rios-diaz-v-colonel-tom-butler/


Judge(s)

Christensen, Dana Lewis (Montana)

Ostby, Carolyn S. (Montana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Farris−Olsen, Robert (Montana)

Haque, Arif (Missouri)

Haque-Hausrath, Shahid (Montana)

Miller, Brian J. (Montana)

Peterson, Scott L. (Montana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cox, Randy J. (Montana)

Crowley, William L. (Montana)

Tanner, Randy J (Montana)

Judge(s)

Christensen, Dana Lewis (Montana)

Ostby, Carolyn S. (Montana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Farris−Olsen, Robert (Montana)

Haque, Arif (Missouri)

Haque-Hausrath, Shahid (Montana)

Miller, Brian J. (Montana)

Peterson, Scott L. (Montana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cox, Randy J. (Montana)

Crowley, William L. (Montana)

Tanner, Randy J (Montana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Rios-Diaz v. Colonel Tom Butler

April 3, 2015 Docket
1

Complaint (Class Action)

Rios-Diaz v. Colonel Tom Butler

Oct. 7, 2013 Complaint
19

Findings and Recommendations of U.S. Magistrate Judge

Rios-Diaz v. Colonel Tom Butler

2014 WL 12591682

April 1, 2014 Magistrate Report/Recommendation
22

Order

2014 WL 12591836

July 25, 2014 Order/Opinion
39

Judgment

April 3, 2015 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Rios-Diaz, et al. v. Colonel Tom Butler, Montana Highway Patrol, et al.

American Immigration Council

On October 7, 2013, the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (“MIJA”) and four representative plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana against Colonel Tom Butle… Feb. 17, 2016 https://holdcbpaccountable.org/2016/02/17/rios-diaz-et-al-v-colonel-tom-butler-montana-highway-patrol-et-al/

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14396165/rios-diaz-v-colonel-tom-butler/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against Attorney General, Colonel Tom Butler, filed by Jose Rios-Diaz, Eduardo Barragan-Maranjo, Delfio Mejia-Ochoa, Eligio Duran-Sanchez, Montana Immigrant Justice Allliance. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Exhibits A thru D) (ELL, ) (Attachment 2 replaced on 10/7/2013) (ELL, ). Modified to add receipt number MTX9-6514 - filing fee paid (NOS, ). (Entered: 10/07/2013)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

2 Exhibits A thru D

View on PACER

Oct. 7, 2013 PACER
2

Summons Issued as to Attorney General, Colonel Tom Butler. Original issued in Helena to cnsl for service. (ELL, ) (Entered: 10/07/2013)

Oct. 7, 2013 PACER
3

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Montana Immigrant Justice Allliance. All Defendants. (Haque-Hausrath, Shahid) (Entered: 10/08/2013)

Oct. 8, 2013 PACER
4

MOTION Arif Haque to Appear Pro Hac Vice on behalf of all Plaintiffs ( Filing fee $ 250 receipt number 0977-1301075.) Shahid Haque-Hausrath appearing for Plaintiff Jose Rios-Diaz Motions referred to Carolyn S Ostby. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit of Arif Haque in Support of Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice, # 2 Text of Proposed Order) (Haque-Hausrath, Shahid) (Entered: 10/09/2013)

1 Affidavit of Arif Haque in Support of Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice

View on PACER

2 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 9, 2013 PACER
5

ORDER denying 4 Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice Signed by Magistrate Carolyn S Ostby on 10/15/2013. (ELL, ) (Entered: 10/15/2013)

Oct. 15, 2013 PACER
6

MOTION Arif Haque to Appear Pro Hac Vice on behalf of all Plaintiffs (renewed by leave of Court) ( Filing fee $ 250 receipt number 0977-1301075.) Shahid Haque-Hausrath appearing for Plaintiff Jose Rios-Diaz Motions referred to Carolyn S Ostby. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit of Arif Haque in Support of Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice, # 2 Text of Proposed Order) (Haque-Hausrath, Shahid) (Entered: 10/15/2013)

1 Affidavit of Arif Haque in Support of Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice

View on PACER

2 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 15, 2013 PACER
7

ORDER granting 6 Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice Signed by Magistrate Carolyn S Ostby on 10/15/2013. (ELL, ) Modified on 10/16/2013 to indicate that a copy of the Order was mailed by US Mail to PHV atty w/registration letter (ELL, ). (Entered: 10/15/2013)

Oct. 15, 2013 PACER
8

Letter RE Attorney Registraton (ELL, ) (Entered: 10/16/2013)

Oct. 16, 2013 PACER
9

Corporate Disclosure Statement by Montana Immigrant Justice Allliance. (Haque-Hausrath, Shahid) (Entered: 10/25/2013)

Oct. 25, 2013 PACER
10

Joint MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, Randy J. Cox appearing for Defendants Attorney General, Colonel Tom Butler Motions referred to Carolyn S Ostby. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Extending Deadlines) (Cox, Randy) (Entered: 10/25/2013)

1 Text of Proposed Order Extending Deadlines

View on PACER

Oct. 25, 2013 PACER
11

Mailing of Consent to US Magistrate Judge. Mailed to counsel Randy J. Cox, William L. Crowley, Randy Tanner, Shahid Haque-Hausrath, Arif HaqueConsent/Objection to USMJ Form due by 11/29/2013. (CDH, ) (Entered: 10/25/2013)

Oct. 25, 2013 PACER
12

TEXT ORDER: IT IS ORDERED that: (1) the parties' joint motion to extend deadlines (ECF 10) is GRANTED; (2) Defendants must file their answer or response to Plaintiffs' Complaint by December 6, 2013; and (3) if Defendants file a document in response that requires Plaintiffs to respond, then Plaintiffs' response must be filed no more than 45 days after Defendants file such response or by January 21, 2014, whichever is later. Signed by Magistrate Judge Carolyn S Ostby on 10/28/2013. (JEC, ) (Entered: 10/28/2013)

Oct. 28, 2013 PACER
13

ORDER OF RECUSAL. Signed by Judge Sam E Haddon on 12/3/2013. (ELL, ) (Entered: 12/03/2013)

Dec. 3, 2013 PACER
14

ORDER REASSIGNING CASE. Case reassigned to Judge Dana L. Christensen and Magistrate Carolyn S Ostby for all further proceedings. Judge Sam E Haddon, no longer assigned to case. Signed by Judge Dana L. Christensen on 12/5/2013. (CDH, ) (Entered: 12/05/2013)

Dec. 5, 2013 PACER
15

MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM Randy J. Cox appearing for Defendants Attorney General, Colonel Tom Butler Motions referred to Carolyn S Ostby. (Cox, Randy) (Entered: 12/06/2013)

Dec. 6, 2013 PACER
16

Brief/Memorandum in Support re 15 MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM filed by Attorney General, Colonel Tom Butler. (Cox, Randy) (Entered: 12/06/2013)

Dec. 6, 2013 PACER
17

RESPONSE to Motion re 15 MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM filed by Barragan-Naranjo, Eligio Duran-Sanchez, Delfio Mejia-Ochoa, Montana Immigrant Justice Allliance, Jose Rios-Diaz. (Haque-Hausrath, Shahid) (Entered: 01/16/2014)

Jan. 16, 2014 RECAP
18

REPLY to Response to Motion re 15 MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM filed by Attorney General, Colonel Tom Butler. (Cox, Randy) Modified on 1/30/2014 Cpy printed to CSO (ELL, ). (Entered: 01/30/2014)

Jan. 30, 2014 PACER
19

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 15 MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM filed by Colonel Tom Butler, Attorney General. Signed by Magistrate Judge Carolyn S Ostby on 4/1/2014. (CDH, ) (Entered: 04/02/2014)

April 1, 2014 PACER
20

OBJECTION to 19 Findings and Recommendations filed by Attorney General, Colonel Tom Butler. (Cox, Randy) (Entered: 04/15/2014)

April 15, 2014 PACER
21

Reply to Objection to Findings and Recommendations re 19 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 15 MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM filed by Colonel Tom Butler, Attorney General. filed by Barragan-Naranjo, Eligio Duran-Sanchez, Delfio Mejia-Ochoa, Montana Immigrant Justice Allliance, Jose Rios-Diaz. (Haque-Hausrath, Shahid) (Entered: 04/24/2014)

April 24, 2014 PACER
22

ORDER granting in part and denying in part 15 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim; adopting Findings and Recommendations re 19 Findings and Recommendations. IT IS ORDERED that Judge Ostby's Findings and Recommendations are ADOPTED IN FULL. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants Colonel Tom Butler and Montana Attorney General Tim Fox's Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED for Counts III and IV, but DENIED in all other respects. Signed by Judge Dana L. Christensen on 7/25/2014. (ELL, ) (Entered: 07/25/2014)

July 25, 2014 PACER
23

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE. IT IS ORDERED that Dfts must file an Answer on or before 8/19/14 or appear in writing and show cause for their failure to do so. Show Cause Response due by 8/19/2014. Signed by Magistrate Judge Carolyn S Ostby on 8/12/2014. (ELL, ) (Entered: 08/12/2014)

Aug. 12, 2014 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Attorney General answer due 8/19/2014; Colonel Tom Butler answer due 8/19/2014. (CDH, )

Aug. 15, 2014 PACER
24

ANSWER to 1 Complaint, by Attorney General, Colonel Tom Butler. (Cox, Randy) (Entered: 08/19/2014)

Aug. 19, 2014 PACER
25

Order Setting: TELEPHONIC Pretrial Conference set for 9/26/2014 at 11:00 AM. Signed by Magistrate Judge Carolyn S Ostby on 8/20/2014. (CDH, ) (Entered: 08/20/2014)

Aug. 20, 2014 PACER
26

NOTICE of Appearance by Brian J. Miller on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Miller, Brian) (Entered: 08/27/2014)

Aug. 27, 2014 PACER
27

NOTICE of Appearance by Robert Farris-Olsen on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Farris-Olsen, Robert) (Entered: 09/02/2014)

Sept. 2, 2014 PACER
28

NOTICE of Appearance by Scott L. Peterson on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Peterson, Scott) (Entered: 09/03/2014)

Sept. 3, 2014 PACER
29

JOINT DISCOVERY PLAN by Barragan-Naranjo, Eligio Duran-Sanchez, Delfio Mejia-Ochoa, Montana Immigrant Justice Allliance, Jose Rios-Diaz. (Haque-Hausrath, Shahid) (Entered: 09/17/2014)

Sept. 17, 2014 PACER
30

STATEMENT OF STIPULATED FACTS by Barragan-Naranjo, Eligio Duran-Sanchez, Delfio Mejia-Ochoa, Montana Immigrant Justice Allliance, Jose Rios-Diaz. (Haque-Hausrath, Shahid) (Entered: 09/17/2014)

Sept. 17, 2014 PACER
31

PRELIMINARY PRETRIAL STATEMENT by Barragan-Naranjo, Eligio Duran-Sanchez, Delfio Mejia-Ochoa, Montana Immigrant Justice Allliance, Jose Rios-Diaz. (Haque-Hausrath, Shahid) (Entered: 09/17/2014)

Sept. 17, 2014 PACER
32

PRELIMINARY PRETRIAL STATEMENT by Attorney General, Colonel Tom Butler. (Cox, Randy) (Entered: 09/19/2014)

Sept. 19, 2014 PACER
33

SCHEDULING ORDER: Telephone PTC held 9/26/14. Amended Pleadings due by 12/1/2014. Discovery due by 9/18/2015. Joinder of Parties due by 12/1/2014. Motions due by 10/2/2015. Signed by Magistrate Judge Carolyn S Ostby on 9/26/2014. (ELL, ) (Entered: 09/26/2014)

Sept. 26, 2014 PACER
34

STATEMENT OF STIPULATED FACTS by Barragan-Naranjo, Eligio Duran-Sanchez, Delfio Mejia-Ochoa, Montana Immigrant Justice Allliance, Jose Rios-Diaz. (Haque-Hausrath, Shahid) (Entered: 10/10/2014)

Oct. 10, 2014 PACER
35

Joint MOTION to Modify 33 Scheduling Order Randy J. Tanner appearing for Defendants Attorney General, Colonel Tom Butler Motions referred to Carolyn S Ostby. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order) (Tanner, Randy) (Entered: 11/21/2014)

1 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

Nov. 21, 2014 PACER
36

Brief/Memorandum in Support re 35 Joint MOTION to Modify 33 Scheduling Order filed by Attorney General, Colonel Tom Butler. (Tanner, Randy) (Entered: 11/21/2014)

Nov. 21, 2014 PACER
37

Amended SCHEDULING ORDER: Amended Pleadings due by 2/27/2015. Discovery due by 11/18/2015. Joinder of Parties due by 2/27/2015. Motions due by 12/2/2015. Signed by Magistrate Judge Carolyn S Ostby on 11/25/2014. (JDH, ) (Entered: 11/25/2014)

Nov. 25, 2014 PACER
38

NOTICE of Acceptance with Offer of Judgment by Barragan-Naranjo, Eligio Duran-Sanchez, Delfio Mejia-Ochoa, Montana Immigrant Justice Allliance, Jose Rios-Diaz (Attachments: # 1 Offer of Judgment) (Haque-Hausrath, Shahid) (Entered: 04/03/2015)

1 Offer of Judgment

View on PACER

April 3, 2015 PACER
39

JUDGMENT. Signed by Judge Dana L. Christensen on 4/3/2015. (APP, ) (Additional attachment(s) added on 4/6/2015: # 1 Exhibit) (APP, ). (Entered: 04/03/2015)

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

April 3, 2015 PACER

State / Territory: Montana

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 7, 2013

Closing Date: April 3, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Four Latino men detained in traffic stops to check their immigration status as representatives on behalf of a putative class of all Latino/a persons who may have been unlawfully detained in Montana, and the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Denied

Defendants

Montana Highway Patrol, State

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Due Process: Substantive Due Process

Unreasonable search and seizure

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

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

Order Duration: 2015 - 2020

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Reporting

Recordkeeping

Monitoring

Required disclosure

Training

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Disparate Treatment

Incident/accident reporting & investigations

Over/Unlawful Detention

Pattern or Practice

Racial profiling

Search policies

Discrimination-basis:

Immigration status

National origin discrimination

Race discrimination

Race:

Race, unspecified

Immigration/Border:

Constitutional rights

Detention - criteria

Detention - procedures

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Hispanic