Case: Does v. Trump

3:20-cv-00430 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

Filed Date: May 6, 2020

Closed Date: Aug. 10, 2020

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 Summary: This is a class action filed on May 6, 2020 against the U.S. government to challenge the Exclusion Provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief as well as a TRO prohibiting the defendants from enforcing the Exclusion Provision. On June 12, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case or in the alternative, to stay the case given that similar complaints already were filed in seven di…

COVID-19 Summary: This is a class action filed on May 6, 2020 against the U.S. government to challenge the Exclusion Provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief as well as a TRO prohibiting the defendants from enforcing the Exclusion Provision. On June 12, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case or in the alternative, to stay the case given that similar complaints already were filed in seven different U.S. District Courts. This case was dismissed in August 2020.


On May 6, 2020, an individual married to a spouse without a social security number (SSN) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government to challenge the Exclusion Provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (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 Western District of Wisconsin as a declaratory and injunctive action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Represented by private attorneys, the plaintiff’s proposed class sought to include all U.S. citizens married to a spouse without an SSN, and who filed joint tax returns with immigrants who would otherwise qualify. The plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief enjoining the enforcement of the Exclusion Provision and an order requiring the defendants to hold in escrow or earmark sufficient funds to issue Stimulus Checks to the proposed class. The plaintiff also sought attorney fees and class certification, and also requested a jury trial. The case was assigned to District Judge James D. Peterson and Magistrate Judge Stephen L. Crocker.

On March 27, President Trump announced the CARES Act aimed to provide emergency assistance and health care response to individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act authorized the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to distribute $1200.00 to each eligible individual who is U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or qualifying residing aliens with a valid SSN. Under Section 6428, or the Exclusion Provision, the applicant was also required to provide a “valid identification number,” or, an SSN of their spouse on their tax returns. The plaintiff, married to an immigrant with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) but without an SSN, did not qualify for the Advance Payment.

The plaintiff argued that her exclusion from eligibility on the basis of her choice to marry a non-citizen was a violation of her First Amendment rights. Moreover, the plaintiff alleged that the Exclusion clause was against the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments as it infringed her fundamental choice to marry whom she wished. The plaintiff also argued that Section 6428 was not narrowly tailored to advance a compelling government interest, no rationally related to any legitimate government interest.

On June 12, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case or in the alternative, to stay the case given that similar complaints already were filed in several other U.S. District Courts.

On August 7, the plaintiffs filed a joint stipulation to stay the case, and on August 10, the court dismissed the case without prejudice on the grounds that one or more of Does v. Trump (PB-WI-0004), Doe v. Trump (PB-IL-0014), or Doe v. Trump (PB-CA-0055), could be dispositive. PB-CA-0055 and PB-IL-0014 only PB-WI-004 were voluntarily dismissed, and only PB-WI-0004 is believed to be ongoing.

Summary Authors

Averyn Lee (7/12/2020)

Zofia Peach (3/11/2021)

Related Cases

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

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

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

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17135928/parties/doe-jane-v-trump-donald/


Judge(s)

Crocker, Stephen L. (Wisconsin)

Peterson, James Donald (Wisconsin)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Abuzir, Omar A (Illinois)

Blaise, Heather Lea (Illinois)

Gavin, Elisabeth Anne (Illinois)

Khalaf, Vivian R (Illinois)

Moore, Guinevere Marie (Illinois)

Nassar, Lana B (Illinois)

Nitschke, Thomas John (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Conway, David Daly (Wisconsin)

Judge(s)

Crocker, Stephen L. (Wisconsin)

Peterson, James Donald (Wisconsin)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Abuzir, Omar A (Illinois)

Blaise, Heather Lea (Illinois)

Gavin, Elisabeth Anne (Illinois)

Khalaf, Vivian R (Illinois)

Moore, Guinevere Marie (Illinois)

Nassar, Lana B (Illinois)

Nitschke, Thomas John (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Conway, David Daly (Wisconsin)

Hurley, Charles P (District of Columbia)

Robins, Samuel Peter (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Doe v. Trump

Aug. 10, 2020 Docket
1

Class Action Complaint

Doe v. Trump

May 6, 2020 Complaint
2 & 3

The United States' Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative to Stay this Action and Memorandum in Support of the United States' Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative to Stay this Action

Doe v. Trump

June 12, 2020 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Title Description External URL

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17135928/doe-jane-v-trump-donald/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against All Defendants. (Filing fee $400, receipt number 0758-2673655) filed by All Plaintiffs. (Nitschke, Thomas) (Additional attachment(s) added on 5/7/2020: # 1 JS-44 Civil Cover Sheet) (arw) (Entered: 05/06/2020)

1 JS-44 Civil Cover Sheet

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May 6, 2020 RECAP

Add Judge for Shell Case Opening

May 7, 2020 PACER

Case randomly assigned to District Judge James D. Peterson and Magistrate Judge Stephen L. Crocker. (kwf)

May 7, 2020 PACER

Standard Attachments Sent

May 7, 2020 PACER

Standard attachments for District Judge James D. Peterson required to be served on all parties with summons or waiver of service: NORTC, Corporate Disclosure Statement. (kwf)

May 7, 2020 PACER
2

MOTION TO DISMISS or in the Alternative to Stay by Defendant United States of America. Brief in Opposition due 7/6/2020. Brief in Reply due 7/13/2020. (Hurley, Charles) (Entered: 06/12/2020)

June 12, 2020 PACER
3

Brief in Support of 2 Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative to Stay by Defendant United States of America (Hurley, Charles) (Entered: 06/12/2020)

June 12, 2020 PACER
4

Notice of Appearance filed by Samuel Peter Robins for Defendant United States of America. (Robins, Samuel) (Entered: 07/02/2020)

July 2, 2020 PACER
5

Joint Stipulation for Extension of Time by Plaintiff Jane Doe. (Nitschke, Thomas) (Entered: 07/06/2020)

July 6, 2020 PACER
6

** TEXT ONLY ORDER **ORDER accepting and granting 5 Joint Stipulation for Extension of Time. Signed by Magistrate Judge Stephen L. Crocker on 7/23/2020. (kwf) (Entered: 07/23/2020)

July 23, 2020 PACER

Set Briefing Deadlines

July 23, 2020 PACER

Set/Reset Briefing Deadlines as to 2 MOTION TO DISMISS or in the Alternative to Stay. Brief in Opposition due 8/7/2020. Brief in Reply due 8/14/2020. (kwf)

July 23, 2020 PACER

Order on Stipulation

July 23, 2020 PACER
7

Request for Issuance of Summons by Plaintiff Jane Doe. (Attachments: # 1 Summons Donald J. Trump, # 2 Summons Mitch McConnell, # 3 Summons Steven Mnuchin, # 4 Summons Charles Rettig, # 5 Summons U.S. Department of the Treasury, # 6 Summons U.S. Internal Revenue Service) (Nitschke, Thomas) (Entered: 08/04/2020)

1 Summons Donald J. Trump

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2 Summons Mitch McConnell

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3 Summons Steven Mnuchin

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4 Summons Charles Rettig

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5 Summons U.S. Department of the Treasury

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6 Summons U.S. Internal Revenue Service

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Aug. 4, 2020 PACER
8

Summons Issued as to Mitch McConnell, Steven Mnuchin, Charles Rettig, Donald J. Trump, U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Internal Revenue Service, United States of America. (kwf) (Entered: 08/06/2020)

Aug. 6, 2020 PACER
9

Notice of Appearance filed by Guinevere Marie Moore for Plaintiff Jane Doe. (Moore, Guinevere) (Entered: 08/07/2020)

Aug. 7, 2020 PACER
10

Stipulated Motion to Stay this Action by Plaintiff Jane Doe. (Nitschke, Thomas) Modified on 8/10/2020. (lak). (Entered: 08/07/2020)

Aug. 7, 2020 PACER
11

** TEXT ONLY ORDER **The parties have filed a joint motion to stay this case "until a final decision has been rendered wherein a class has been certified" in one of five other cases. Dkt. 10 . Like this case, all of those other cases challenge the constitutionality of a provision in the CARES Act, 26 U.S.C. ยง 6428(g)(1)(B), that limits payments to U.S. citizens whose spouses do not have a social security number. Because the parties acknowledge that one or more of those cases could be dispositive, this case is DISMISSED without prejudice. If the other cases do not resolve plaintiff's claims, plaintiff may move to reopen this case. Signed by District Judge James D. Peterson on 8/10/2020. (kwf) (Entered: 08/10/2020)

Aug. 10, 2020 PACER

Dismissal Order

Aug. 10, 2020 PACER

State / Territory: Wisconsin

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 6, 2020

Closing Date: Aug. 10, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

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: Mooted before ruling

Defendants

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

President of the United States, Federal

Senator and Sponsor of the CARES Act, Federal

U.S. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Federal

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Federal

U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Federal

United States of America, 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: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Marriage

Public assistance grants

Discrimination-basis:

Family discrimination

Immigration status