Case: Does v. Trump

2:20-cv-00704 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Filed Date: May 8, 2020

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 Summary: This is a putative class-action complaint filed on May 8 challenging the requirement for a social insurance number to qualify for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) stimulus checks. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining the SSN requirement and requiring the defendants to hold in escrow funds for the issuance funds to the proposed class. On June 30, the defendants filed a motion …

COVID-19 Summary: This is a putative class-action complaint filed on May 8 challenging the requirement for a social insurance number to qualify for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) stimulus checks. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining the SSN requirement and requiring the defendants to hold in escrow funds for the issuance funds to the proposed class. On June 30, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, to stay the case given that similar complaints already were filed in several U.S. District Courts. The case is stayed pending the final decisions in related cases.


On May 8, two U.S. citizens married to spouses without SSNs filed a suit against various government defendants to challenge the Exclusion Provision of the CARES Act. The plaintiffs alleged that 26 U.S.C. § 6428 (the Exclusion Provision), as enacted by Section 2101 of the CARES Act, violated due process, equal protection, and the penumbra of privacy rights under the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The plaintiffs filed this action at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin as a declaratory and injunctive action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. They sought declaratory relief stating that the Exclusion Provision violated due process and equal protection of the Fifth and First Amendments. The plaintiffs also filed for injunctive relief and a TRO prohibiting the enforcement of the Exclusion Provision and requiring the defendants to hold in escrow sufficient funds for the issuance of stimulus checks to members of the proposed class. Included in the proposed class were all U.S. citizens similarly situated who would otherwise qualify for the stimulus check. The plaintiffs also sought attorney fees and demanded a jury trial. The plaintiffs were represented by private attorneys, and the case was assigned to Judge J P Stadtmueller.

On March 27, President Trump announced the CARES Act, authorizing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to distribute up to $1200.00 to each eligible individual earning under $75,000. To qualify for the stimulus check, Section 2101 required an eligible individual’s spouse to provide a “valid identification number” on their most recent tax return filed with IRS, but only SSNs were accepted.

The plaintiffs argued that, as SSNs were only issued to citizens or immigrants with work authorization, Section 2101 was discriminatory on the basis of their fundamental right to marriage. In effect, the provision excluded otherwise qualifying individuals married to immigrants who used an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) instead of SSNs to pay their taxes. Both plaintiffs did not receive stimulus checks because their spouses lacked an SSN.

On June 30, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, to stay the case given that similar complaints already were filed in several other U.S. District Courts. The plaintiffs filed a joint stipulation to stay the case, which was adopted by the judge on September 28.

The case will remain stayed until 7 days after a final decision has been rendered in one of the related cases, Does v. Trump (PB-WI-0005), Doe v. Trump (PB-IL-0014), and Doe v. Trump (PB-CA-0055).

On August 10, 2020 in PB-WI-005, the District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin dismissed the case on the grounds that one or more of the related cases may be dispositive.

On September 2, 2020 in PB-CA-0055, the District Court for the Central District of California granted the defendants' motion to dismiss, holding that the need for speed and administrative efficiency in distributing the checks was a valid rational basis for the Exclusion Provision. 2020 WL 5492994. The plaintiffs appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on September 30 and the appeal was voluntarily dismissed on January 21, 2021.

On January 19, 2021 in PB-IL-0014, the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted the plaintiffs' motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The plaintiffs stated that, in December 2020, President Trump passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which contained a provision that amended the CARES Act to allow stimulus checks for a spouse or otherwise qualifying child as long as the valid identification number of at least one spouse was included on the tax return. Thus, the new act retroactively repealed and replaced the Exclusion Provision with one that provided substantially the same relief as sought by the plaintiffs.

As of March 11, 2021, this case is still stayed.

Summary Authors

Averyn Lee (7/12/2020)

Zofia Peach (3/11/2021)

Related Cases

Doe v. Trump, Northern District of Illinois (2020)

Does v. Trump, Western District of Wisconsin (2020)

Doe v. Trump, Central District of California (2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17140507/parties/does-v-trump/


Judge(s)

Stadtmueller, Joseph Peter (Wisconsin)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Abuzir, Omar A (Illinois)

Blaise, Heather Lea (Illinois)

Gavin, Elisabeth Anne (Illinois)

Hurley, Charles P (District of Columbia)

Khalaf, Vivian R (Illinois)

Nassar, Lana B (Illinois)

Nitschke, Thomas John (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Robins, Samuel Peter (District of Columbia)

Zuckerman, Richard E (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Stadtmueller, Joseph Peter (Wisconsin)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Abuzir, Omar A (Illinois)

Blaise, Heather Lea (Illinois)

Gavin, Elisabeth Anne (Illinois)

Hurley, Charles P (District of Columbia)

Khalaf, Vivian R (Illinois)

Nassar, Lana B (Illinois)

Nitschke, Thomas John (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Robins, Samuel Peter (District of Columbia)

Zuckerman, Richard E (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Sept. 28, 2020 Docket
1

Class Action Complaint

May 8, 2020 Complaint
5, 6

The United States' Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative to Stay This Action

June 30, 2020 Pleading / Motion / Brief
9

Joint Stipulation to Stay this Action

Aug. 7, 2020 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17140507/does-v-trump/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT with Jury Demand; against All Defendants by Jane Does. ( Filing Fee PAID $400 receipt number AWIEDC-3446474) (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Nitschke, Thomas)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

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May 8, 2020 PACER

Notice of Judge Assignment

May 8, 2020 PACER

NOTICE Regarding assignment of this matter to Judge J P Stadtmueller ;Consent/refusal forms for Magistrate Judge Joseph to be filed within 21 days;the consent/refusal form is available on our website ;pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1 a disclosure statement is to be filed upon the first filing of any paper and should be filed now if not already filed (jcl)

May 8, 2020 PACER
2

DISCLOSURE Statement by Jane Does. (Nitschke, Thomas)

May 14, 2020 PACER
3

DISCLOSURE Statement by Jane Does. This document and/or certain attachments are SEALED and only viewable by permission of the court(Nitschke, Thomas)

May 15, 2020 PACER
4

Magistrate Judge Jurisdiction Form filed by Jane Does. (NOTICE: Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 73 this document is not viewable by the judge.) (Nitschke, Thomas)

May 15, 2020 PACER
5

MOTION to Dismiss or in the Alternative to Stay by All Defendants. (Hurley, Charles)

June 30, 2020 PACER
6

BRIEF in Support filed by All Defendants re 5 MOTION to Dismiss or in the Alternative to Stay . (Hurley, Charles)

June 30, 2020 PACER
7

STIPULATION [Joint] by Jane Does. (Nitschke, Thomas)

July 21, 2020 RECAP

TEXT ONLY ORDER by Judge J P Stadtmueller on 7/22/2020. Upon consideration of 7 Joint Stipulation and Request for Extension of Time, the Court ORDERS that the stipulation is ADOPTED. Plaintiffs' response to 5 Defendants' Motion to Dismiss shall be filed on or before 8/14/2020, and Defendants' reply shall be filed on or before 8/28/2020. (cc: all counsel)(jm)

July 22, 2020 PACER

Order Approving Stipulation AND Text Only Order

July 22, 2020 PACER
8

REQUEST for Issuance of Summons by Jane Does (Attachments: # 1 Summons Donald J. Trump, # 2 Summons Mitch McConnell, # 3 Summons Nancy Pelosi, # 4 Summons Charles Schumer, # 5 Summons Steven Mnuchin, # 6 Summons Charles Rettig, # 7 Summons U.S. Department of the Treasury, # 8 Summons U.S. Internal Revenue Service)(Nitschke, Thomas)

1 Summons Donald J. Trump

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2 Summons Mitch McConnell

View on PACER

3 Summons Nancy Pelosi

View on PACER

4 Summons Charles Schumer

View on PACER

5 Summons Steven Mnuchin

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6 Summons Charles Rettig

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7 Summons U.S. Department of the Treasury

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8 Summons U.S. Internal Revenue Service

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Aug. 4, 2020 PACER

Summons Issued as to All Defendants. (asc)

Aug. 5, 2020 PACER

Summons Issued

Aug. 5, 2020 PACER
9

STIPULATION to Stay Case[Joint] by Jane Does. (Nitschke, Thomas) Modified on 8/10/2020 (asc).

Aug. 7, 2020 RECAP
10

ORDER signed by Judge J P Stadtmueller on 9/28/2020. 9 Parties' Stipulation to Stay Case is ADOPTED. 5 Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or Stay is DENIED as moot. Parties to promptly inform Court when a final decision has been rendered in cases as specified. This action to be STAYED and ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSED until 7 days after such decision. Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to take all appropriate steps to effectuate a stay and to administratively close this action. See Order. (cc: all counsel)(jm)

Sept. 28, 2020 PACER
11

NOTICE of Appearance by Samuel P Robins on behalf of United States of America. Attorney(s) appearing: Samuel P. Robins (Robins, Samuel)

Jan. 28, 2022 PACER
12

Dismiss

May 10, 2022 PACER

State / Territory: Wisconsin

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 8, 2020

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All United States Citizens married to immigrants that file joint taxes wherein the immigrant-spouses file tax returns using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number who would have otherwise qualified for the Stimulus Check.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Pending

Defendants

President of the United States, Federal

Senator and Sponsor of the CARES Act, Federal

U.S. House of Representatives, Federal

Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury, Federal

U.S. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Federal

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Federal

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Federal

United States of America, Federal

U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

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

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Due Process: Substantive Due Process

Equal Protection

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Marriage

Public assistance grants

Discrimination-basis:

Family discrimination

Immigration status