Case: Washington v. Motel 6

18-02383 | Washington state trial court

Filed Date: Jan. 3, 2018

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On January 3, 2018, the Washington State filed this action in King County Superior Court. The plaintiffs sued Motel 6, a hotel chain, alleging that hotel employees routinely gave guest information like names, license plate numbers, and birthdays to immigration agents. This information was then used to determine if the guests were wanted in civil immigration matters. The suit alleges that Motel 6 employees violated the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and the Washington Law Against Discrimination.S…

On January 3, 2018, the Washington State filed this action in King County Superior Court. The plaintiffs sued Motel 6, a hotel chain, alleging that hotel employees routinely gave guest information like names, license plate numbers, and birthdays to immigration agents. This information was then used to determine if the guests were wanted in civil immigration matters. The suit alleges that Motel 6 employees violated the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and the Washington Law Against Discrimination.

Specifically, Washington alleged that the employees of several Motel 6 hotels would turn over the guest registry without agents providing documentation, evidence of reasonable suspicion, probable cause, or a search warrant. Motel 6 staff observed ICE identify guests of interest to ICE, including by circling guests with Latino-sounding names. Over 9,000 names had been turned over by Motel 6 staff, resulting in six known detainments. The Washington lawsuit comes after a similar action in Arizona. While Motel 6 implied in those proceedings that the problem was isolated, the Washington suit alleged that this was not the case.

On March 5, 2018, Motel 6 removed the case to federal court under the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a). On May 18, 2018 the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled that Motel 6’s decision to turn over information at its own discretion did not justify a federal forum, and the case was remanded to King County Superior Court.

While this case was still pending, the Arizona class action case settled for $7.6 million, paid to class members whose names were given to ICE. Additionally Motel 6 and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (who represented the plaintiffs in the Arizona case) said in a joint statement that the hotel has prohibited employees from sharing such information with ICE.

On April 3, 2019, the parties entered into a consent decree that Superior Court Judge Dean Lum then approved. The decree mandated that the defendant shall maintain a policy that it will not share guest information with law enforcement without a judicially enforceable subpoena or warrant or without probable cause. The defendants must create procedures and keep records such that the policy is implemented, that employees can adequately comply with the policy, and customers can report when they believe information has been unlawfully shared with law enforcement. The decree was to apply to all hotels operating within the State of Washington. As part of the decree, the defendant paid $12 million into a settlement fund, providing approximately $10,250,000 in restitution to guests affected by the defendant's unlawful practices.

The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Anna Brito (2/23/2019)

Aaron Gurley (1/28/2020)

People


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Brenneke, Andrea (Washington)

Ferguson, Robert W. (Washington)

Riese, Mitchell A. (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Doran, Ambika K. (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Brenneke, Andrea (Washington)

Ferguson, Robert W. (Washington)

Riese, Mitchell A. (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Doran, Ambika K. (Washington)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

Complaint

Jan. 3, 2018

Jan. 3, 2018

Complaint

18-2-00283-4 SEA

Consent Decree

None

None

Settlement Agreement

Docket

Last updated Aug. 20, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Washington

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 3, 2018

Closing Date: 2022

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The State of Washington.

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Motel 6, Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: 12,000,000

Order Duration: 2019 - None

Content of Injunction:

Develop anti-discrimination policy

Discrimination Prohibition

Issues

Discrimination-basis:

Immigration status

National origin discrimination

Immigration/Border:

Constitutional rights

ICE/DHS/INS raid

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Hispanic