Case: Pineda v. Trump

1:18-cv-02534 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: Nov. 1, 2018

Closed Date: 2019

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 1, 2018, a group of citizens from Honduras who had been traveling with their children to the United States to seek asylum filed this putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, on behalf of themselves and their children. The case was assigned to Judge Christopher R. Cooper. The plaintiffs, represented by Nexus Derechos Humanos Attorneys and private counsel, sued President Trump and all federal agencies associated with immigration under the …

On November 1, 2018, a group of citizens from Honduras who had been traveling with their children to the United States to seek asylum filed this putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, on behalf of themselves and their children. The case was assigned to Judge Christopher R. Cooper. The plaintiffs, represented by Nexus Derechos Humanos Attorneys and private counsel, sued President Trump and all federal agencies associated with immigration under the Declaratory Judgment Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. The Plaintiffs sought class certification as “All persons (1) who are Mexican, Central American, or South American citizens (2) who are traveling to the United States or have attempted entry into the United States, whether at a designated port of entry or not, since October 31, 2018, and (3) who are seeking asylum or intending to seek asylum within the United States.”

The Plaintiffs sought a declaratory judgement that the Defendants had violated the Plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment Due Process rights and that the Defendants had violated the Administrative Procedure Act by disregarding federal law, federal directives, and the Flores Settlement Agreement, as well as injunctive relief to prevent enforcement of Trump’s immigration policy. While asserting without evidence that the migrant caravan contained “many criminals” and “many gang members” and labeling the caravan “an invasion of our Country,” President Trump implemented a policy that would permanently detain the thousands of caravaners planning to seek asylum in the United States.

Generally there are three possible designation for an aliens in the United States:

1. “You are an arriving alien” upon entering the United States.

2. “You are an alien present in the United States who has not been admitted or paroled.”

3. “You have been admitted to the United States, but are removable for the reasons stated below.”

Under the second and third designations, asylum seekers may be released on bond. While an immigrant designated as an "arriving alien" may be detained without a bond hearing; each of these designated persons may challenge his or her designation and seek to be re-categorized. The complaint alleged that under Trump’s policy, every immigrant arriving with the caravan would be designated as an "arriving alien," subject mandatory detention, and unable to challenge his or her designation. These immigrants would be detained and housed in tents and tent cities, with no promises by the President that such facilities would comply with laws intended to protect immigrant alien children. All immigrants would be detained indefinitely until they were sent back to Central America.

The Plaintiffs argued that this “no release” policy was being used to deter asylum seekers, and that the use of detention as a deterrent to asylum seekers violated their Due Process rights. Furthermore, the Plaintiffs argued that denying immigrants any opportunity to challenge their inclusion in an immigrant category that prohibits them from seeking bond and release from detention violated their Due Process rights. Lastly, the Plaintiffs claimed that Trump and the federal agencies violated the Administrative Procedures Act by disregarding several laws and an agreement related to immigration, including the following:

1. 8 U.S.C. § 1225, which requires that applicants applying for asylum must be referred for a “credible fear interview,” and will likely be granted asylum if an asylum officer determines that the asylum seeker has a “credible fear of persecution”

2. 8 U.S.C. § 1182, which gives discretion to the Attorney General to provide bond and release asylum seekers temporarily, and ICE Directive No. 11002.1, which requires that “[e]ach alien’s eligibility for parole should be considered and analyzed on its own merits and based on the facts of the individual aliens case.”

3. The Flores Settlement Agreement, which requires that minors must be held in facilities run by licensed programs that are “safe and sanitary and are consistent with [Defendants’] concern for the particular vulnerability of minors” and must “provide access to toilets and sinks, drinking water … adequate temperature control and ventilation, adequate supervision to protect minors from others, and contact with family.”

On January 16, 2019, the parties jointly requested that the Court stay proceedings because the appropriations act that had been funding the Department of Justice expired and the required appropriations lapsed. Absent an appropriation, the Department attorneys, including the Assistant United States Attorney assigned to this case, were prohibited from working on substantive matters. The lapse occurred because of a government shutdown that lasted from December 22, 2018-January 25, 2019. The Court granted the motion on January 17, 2019 and gave the Defendants an extension to file their answer.

On February 7, 2019, the Plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntarily dismissal without prejudice. The case is closed. Although the notice does not give a reason for Plaintiffs' voluntary dismissal, it was likely because on January 25, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum indicating that it would begin a process of implementing Section 235(b)(2)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. In this process, all non-Mexican nationals who arrive on land seeking to enter the United States from Mexico illegally or without proper documentation would be returned to Mexico for the duration of their Section 240 removal proceedings and could only return to the United States as necessary and appropriate to attend their immigration court proceedings. (see the resource titled "Policy Guidance for Implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols")

Summary Authors

Sara Stearns (4/1/2019)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/8124147/parties/pineda-v-trump/


Judge(s)

Cooper, Christopher Reid (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

LePierre, Dallas S (Georgia)

Oinonen, Julie (Georgia)

Shoreman, John M (District of Columbia)

Williams, Mario B (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Simon, Jeremy S (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Cooper, Christopher Reid (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

LePierre, Dallas S (Georgia)

Oinonen, Julie (Georgia)

Shoreman, John M (District of Columbia)

Williams, Mario B (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Simon, Jeremy S (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Feb. 7, 2019 Docket
1

Complaint

Nov. 1, 2018 Complaint
5

Consent Motion to Stay Proceedings and for Nunc Pro Tunc Extensions of Time in Light of Lapse in Appropriations

Jan. 16, 2019 Pleading / Motion / Brief
6

Plaintiff's Notice of Voluntary Dismissal Without Prejudice

Feb. 7, 2019 Notice Letter

Resources

Title Description External URL

Policy Guidance for Implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols

Kristjen Nielsen

On December 20, 2018, I announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), consistent with the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), will begin implementation of Section 235(b)(2)(C) of the Immi… Jan. 25, 2019 https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/19_0129_OPA_migrant-protection-protocols-policy-guidance.pdf

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/8124147/pineda-v-trump/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT CLASS COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5771100) filed by MARTA LOPEZ, HOLIVIA ADELINE CASTILLOS, MARIA DORIS PINEDA(on behalf of her minor child D.R.), MARIA DORIS PINEDA, FRANCISCO JAVIER CASTILLOS(on behalf of his minor child F.J.C.), JASMINE ORTEGA SANCHEZ, DINA RUC, MARTA LOPEZ(on behalf of her minor child L.D.L.), HOLIVIA ADELINE CASTILLOS(on behalf of her minor child F.J.C.), JASMINE ORTEGA SANCHEZ(on behalf of her minor child M.O.R.), DINA RUC(on behalf of her minor child J.S.), FRANCISCO JAVIER CASTILLOS. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Ex 1 Flores Agreement, # 2 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet, # 3 Summons Proposed Summons)(Shoreman, John) (Entered: 11/01/2018)

1 Exhibit Ex 1 Flores Agreement

View on PACER

2 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

3 Summons Proposed Summons

View on PACER

Nov. 1, 2018 RECAP

Case Assigned to Judge Christopher R. Cooper. (zrdj)

Nov. 2, 2018 PACER

Case Assigned/Reassigned

Nov. 2, 2018 PACER
2

SUMMONS (11) Issued Electronically as to All Defendants and U.S. Attorney (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zsb) (Entered: 11/02/2018)

Nov. 2, 2018 RECAP

Order on Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice

Nov. 7, 2018 PACER
3

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Mario B. Williams, :Firm- Nexus Derechos Humanos Attorneys, Inc., :Address- 44 Broad Street NW, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30303. Phone No. - 404-254-0442. Fax No. - 703-935-2453 Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-5780455. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by FRANCISCO JAVIER CASTILLOS(on behalf of his minor child F.J.C.), FRANCISCO JAVIER CASTILLOS, HOLIVIA ADELINE CASTILLOS, HOLIVIA ADELINE CASTILLOS(on behalf of her minor child F.J.C.), MARTA LOPEZ, MARTA LOPEZ(on behalf of her minor child L.D.L.), MARIA DORIS PINEDA(on behalf of her minor child D.R.), MARIA DORIS PINEDA, DINA RUC, DINA RUC(on behalf of her minor child J.S.), JASMINE ORTEGA SANCHEZ, JASMINE ORTEGA SANCHEZ(on behalf of her minor child M.O.R.) (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Declaration of Mario Williams)(Shoreman, John) (Entered: 11/07/2018)

Nov. 7, 2018 RECAP

MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the Plaintiffs' 3 Motion for Admission of Attorney Mario B. Williams Pro Hac Vice, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 11/07/2018. (lccrc3)

Nov. 7, 2018 PACER
4

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Dallas S. LePierre, :Firm- Nexus Derechos Humanos Attorneys, Inc., :Address- 44 Broad Street NW, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30303. Phone No. - 404-254-0442. Fax No. - 703-935-2453 Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-5780470. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by FRANCISCO JAVIER CASTILLOS(on behalf of his minor child F.J.C.), FRANCISCO JAVIER CASTILLOS, HOLIVIA ADELINE CASTILLOS, HOLIVIA ADELINE CASTILLOS(on behalf of her minor child F.J.C.), MARTA LOPEZ, MARTA LOPEZ(on behalf of her minor child L.D.L.), MARIA DORIS PINEDA(on behalf of her minor child D.R.), MARIA DORIS PINEDA, DINA RUC, DINA RUC(on behalf of her minor child J.S.), JASMINE ORTEGA SANCHEZ, JASMINE ORTEGA SANCHEZ(on behalf of her minor child M.O.R.) (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Declaration of Dallas S. LePierre)(Shoreman, John) (Entered: 11/07/2018)

Nov. 7, 2018 RECAP

MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the Plaintiffs' 4 Motion for Admission of Attorney Dallas S. LePierre Pro Hac Vice, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 11/07/2018. (lccrc3)

Nov. 7, 2018 PACER
5

Extension of Time to

Jan. 16, 2019 RECAP

Order on Motion to Stay

Jan. 17, 2019 PACER

Order

Jan. 28, 2019 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines

Jan. 29, 2019 PACER
6

Notice of Voluntary Dismissal

Feb. 7, 2019 RECAP

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Special Collection(s):

Trump Immigration Enforcement Order Challenges

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 1, 2018

Closing Date: 2019

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Immigrants traveling from Honduras with a migrant caravan planning to seek asylum in the United States.

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Mooted before ruling

Defendants

Donald Trump, Federal

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Federal

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

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

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Issues

Immigration/Border:

Asylum - procedure

Constitutional rights

Detention - conditions

Family Separation

Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties