Case: Alvarez v. Trump

1:19-cv-00404 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: Feb. 15, 2019

Closed Date: April 23, 2019

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Throughout his campaign and presidency, Donald Trump advocated for the construction of a wall along the southern border of the United States. In 2018, President Trump requested that Congress appropriate $5.7 billion to build a steel border wall. Congress refused, and instead appropriated $1.375 billion for 55 miles of wall. President Trump signed that appropriations bill, but also declared a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act, directing the Department of Defense to reallocat…

Throughout his campaign and presidency, Donald Trump advocated for the construction of a wall along the southern border of the United States. In 2018, President Trump requested that Congress appropriate $5.7 billion to build a steel border wall. Congress refused, and instead appropriated $1.375 billion for 55 miles of wall. President Trump signed that appropriations bill, but also declared a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act, directing the Department of Defense to reallocate military funds in order to build the wall.

On the same day as the president’s national emergency declaration, this lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Several landowners in Starr County, Texas, with property on the United States–Mexico border, asserted that the construction of the wall through their property threatened “imminent invasion of their privacy and the quiet enjoyment of their land.” The Frontera Audubon Society, a non-profit Texas environmental organization, contended that the construction of the wall would destroy critical habitat and impair the ability of the Society’s members’ to observe wildlife. Their complaint, filed on 2/15/2019, sought declaratory and injunctive relief against President Trump and his Secretary of Defense, and was assigned to Judge Trevor N. McFadden.

The plaintiffs alleged that President Trump’s declaration exceeded his constitutional and statutory authority, because the Constitution grants all appropriations authority to Congress. Through the National Emergencies Act, Congress had given some power to the executive to reallocate military funds in an emergency; the plaintiffs contended, however, that the Act was not intended to allow the president to circumvent Congress when Congress had explicitly refused to provide the funding that he was seeking. Additionally, the plaintiffs asserted that in light of government statistics indicating a significant decline in legal and illegal border crossings, there was no emergency at the southern border. Finally, the plaintiffs claimed that the National Emergencies Act allowed reallocation of funds only for military construction projects, and that the border wall did not fit into that category and was thus ineligible for reallocated funds.

In April 2019, the Trump administration submitted sworn declarations to the court, committing to use no reallocated funds for the section of border wall in dispute in this case, but rather to use only funds appropriated by Congress in its 2018 or 2019 appropriations bills. As a result, the plaintiffs dismissed their claims on April 22, 2019, and the court dismissed the case the next day.

Summary Authors

Mackenzie Walz (3/6/2019)

Gregory Marsh (7/10/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14555857/parties/alvarez-v-trump/


Judge(s)

McFadden, Trevor Neil (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Kirkpatrick, Michael T (District of Columbia)

Nelson, Scott Lawrence (District of Columbia)

Smullin, Rebecca (California)

Zieve, Allison Marcy (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Davis, Kathryn Celia (District of Columbia)

Warden, Andrew Irwin (District of Columbia)

Other Attorney(s)

Active

Judge(s)

McFadden, Trevor Neil (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Kirkpatrick, Michael T (District of Columbia)

Nelson, Scott Lawrence (District of Columbia)

Smullin, Rebecca (California)

Zieve, Allison Marcy (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Davis, Kathryn Celia (District of Columbia)

Warden, Andrew Irwin (District of Columbia)

Other Attorney(s)

Joseph, Lawrence J (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:19-cv-00404

Docket [PACER]

April 23, 2019

April 23, 2019

Docket
1

1:19-cv-00404

Complaint

Feb. 15, 2019

Feb. 15, 2019

Complaint
8-2

1:19-cv-00404

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

April 2, 2019

April 2, 2019

Pleading / Motion / Brief
13-1

1:19-cv-00404

Supplemental Declaration of Loren Flossman

April 12, 2019

April 12, 2019

Pleading / Motion / Brief
16

1:19-cv-00404

Notice of Dismissal

April 22, 2019

April 22, 2019

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14555857/alvarez-v-trump/

Last updated July 21, 2022, 3:07 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against ALL DEFENDANTS ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5952154) filed by FRONTERA AUDUBON SOCIETY, NAYDA ALVAREZ, YVETTE GAYTAN, LEONEL ROMEO ALVAREZ. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons to Donald Trump, # 3 Summons to Patrick Shanahan, # 4 Summons to Attorney General, # 5 Summons to U.S. Attorney)(Kirkpatrick, Michael) (Entered: 02/15/2019)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

2 Summons to Donald Trump

View on PACER

3 Summons to Patrick Shanahan

View on PACER

4 Summons to Attorney General

View on PACER

5 Summons to U.S. Attorney

View on PACER

Feb. 15, 2019

Feb. 15, 2019

RECAP
2

NOTICE of Appearance by Allison Marcy Zieve on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Zieve, Allison) (Entered: 02/15/2019)

Feb. 15, 2019

Feb. 15, 2019

RECAP
3

LCvR 26.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by FRONTERA AUDUBON SOCIETY (Kirkpatrick, Michael) (Entered: 02/15/2019)

Feb. 15, 2019

Feb. 15, 2019

RECAP

Case Assigned/Reassigned

Feb. 19, 2019

Feb. 19, 2019

PACER

Case Assigned to Judge Trevor N. McFadden. (zmd)

Feb. 19, 2019

Feb. 19, 2019

PACER
4

SUMMONS (4) Issued Electronically as to PATRICK M. SHANAHAN, DONALD J. TRUMP, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Notice and Consent) (zmd) (Entered: 02/19/2019)

Feb. 19, 2019

Feb. 19, 2019

RECAP
5

STANDING ORDER establishing procedures for cases before Judge Trevor N. McFadden. The parties are ORDERED to read and strictly comply with the directives in the attached order. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 2/19/2019. (lctnm3) (Entered: 02/19/2019)

Feb. 19, 2019

Feb. 19, 2019

RECAP
6

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 2/19/2019. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 4/20/2019. (Zieve, Allison) (Entered: 02/21/2019)

Feb. 21, 2019

Feb. 21, 2019

RECAP
7

NOTICE of Appearance by Andrew I. Warden on behalf of PATRICK M. SHANAHAN, DONALD J. TRUMP, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Warden, Andrew) (Entered: 04/02/2019)

April 2, 2019

April 2, 2019

RECAP
8

MOTION to Dismiss by PATRICK M. SHANAHAN, DONALD J. TRUMP, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - Flossman Decl., # 2 Exhibit 2 - Second Flossman Decl., # 3 Exhibit 3 - Rapuano Decl., # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Davis, Kathryn) (Entered: 04/02/2019)

1 Exhibit 1 - Flossman Decl.

View on RECAP

2 Exhibit 2 - Second Flossman Decl.

View on RECAP

3 Exhibit 3 - Rapuano Decl.

View on PACER

4 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

April 2, 2019

April 2, 2019

RECAP
9

NOTICE of Appearance by Kathryn Celia Davis on behalf of PATRICK M. SHANAHAN, DONALD J. TRUMP, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Davis, Kathryn) (Entered: 04/02/2019)

April 2, 2019

April 2, 2019

RECAP
11

MOTION to Intervene by ROBERT A. HEGHMANN. (tth) (Entered: 04/08/2019)

April 4, 2019

April 4, 2019

RECAP
10

MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 8 MOTION to Dismiss by LEONEL ROMEO ALVAREZ, NAYDA ALVAREZ, FRONTERA AUDUBON SOCIETY, YVETTE GAYTAN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Zieve, Allison) (Entered: 04/08/2019)

April 8, 2019

April 8, 2019

RECAP

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply

April 8, 2019

April 8, 2019

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines

April 8, 2019

April 8, 2019

PACER

MINUTE ORDER granting in part Plaintiffs' 10 Motion for Extension of Time. Plaintiffs shall respond to Defendants' 8 Motion to Dismiss on or before April 22, 2019. Defendants may reply to Plaintiffs' Opposition on or before May 1, 2019. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 4/8/2019. (lctnm1)

April 8, 2019

April 8, 2019

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiffs' response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss due by 4/22/2019. Defendants' reply due by 5/1/2019. (hmc)

April 8, 2019

April 8, 2019

PACER
12

Unopposed MOTION for Leave to File Amicus Memo of Law by Andy Barr (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support Proposed Amicus Brief, # 2 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Joseph, Lawrence) (Entered: 04/09/2019)

April 9, 2019

April 9, 2019

RECAP
13

NOTICE of Filing Supplemental Declaration by PATRICK M. SHANAHAN, DONALD J. TRUMP, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - Suppl. Flossman Decl.)(Davis, Kathryn) (Entered: 04/12/2019)

1

View on RECAP

April 12, 2019

April 12, 2019

RECAP
14

Memorandum in opposition to re 11 MOTION to Intervene filed by PATRICK M. SHANAHAN, DONALD J. TRUMP, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Davis, Kathryn) (Entered: 04/18/2019)

1 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

April 18, 2019

April 18, 2019

PACER

Order on Motion for Leave to File

April 18, 2019

April 18, 2019

PACER

MINUTE ORDER granting the 12 Unopposed Motion for Leave to File Amicus Brief. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 4/18/2019. (lctnm3)

April 18, 2019

April 18, 2019

PACER
15

AMICUS BRIEF by ANDY BARR. (tth) (Entered: 04/19/2019)

April 18, 2019

April 18, 2019

RECAP
16

NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal by All Plaintiffs (Zieve, Allison) (Entered: 04/22/2019)

April 22, 2019

April 22, 2019

RECAP

.Order

April 23, 2019

April 23, 2019

PACER

MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the Plaintiffs' 16 Notice of Voluntary Dismissal, this case is hereby DISMISSED without prejudice. The Clerk of the Court shall close the case. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 4/23/2019. (lctnm3)

April 23, 2019

April 23, 2019

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 15, 2019

Closing Date: April 23, 2019

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Three landowners and a non-profit environmental organization in Texas whose property or work interests would be harmed by the construction of a southern border wall.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

President Donald Trump, Federal

Department of Defense, Federal

Case Details

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

Immigration/Border:

Border wall