Case: Lozano v. City of Hazleton, Pennsylvania

3:06-cv-01586 | U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: Aug. 15, 2006

Closed Date: Jan. 4, 2016

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In this lawsuit, filed on August 15, 2006 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, two property owners challenged the Hazleton, Pennsylvania ordinance penalizing those who rent to or hire undocumented immigrants. This was the first city ordinance of its kind, and the lawsuit received a great deal of press. The ordinance, titled "Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance" (Immigration Ordinance), immediately served as a model for several dozen other cities' similar en…

In this lawsuit, filed on August 15, 2006 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, two property owners challenged the Hazleton, Pennsylvania ordinance penalizing those who rent to or hire undocumented immigrants. This was the first city ordinance of its kind, and the lawsuit received a great deal of press. The ordinance, titled "Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance" (Immigration Ordinance), immediately served as a model for several dozen other cities' similar enactments.

The brought the complaint under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that the ordinance violated the Supremacy Clause, the First Amendment, and the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The complaint also argued that the ordinance exceeded Hazleton's police powers, and violated the fundamental right to contract conferred by 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.

The same day that the complaint was filed, the plaintiffs sent a letter to the City requesting that it revoke the Immigration Ordinance at the council meeting that evening. The City declined and instead passed a companion ordinance titled "Tenant Registration Ordinance" (Registration Ordinance).

Under threat of litigation, on September 1, 2006, the City entered a stipulation, filed with the District Court (Judge James M. Munley), to forego enforcement of the Immigration Ordinance until it gave the plaintiffs 20 days' notice and the plaintiffs agreed to forego seeking an injunction until there was an actual threat of enforcement. The City then began the process of passing a new version of the Immigration Ordinance; that new version was enacted on September 21, 2006, along with a third ordinance entitled the "Official English Ordinance."

On October 30, 2006, the plaintiffs filed a first amended complaint, challenging the amended ordinances (both the Immigration and the Registration Ordinances) and a motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. The District Court granted plaintiffs' motion in part and entered a temporary restraining order on October 31, 2006. Lozano v. City of Hazleton, 459 F.Supp.2d 332 (M.D. Pa. 2006). On November 1, 2006, the District Court entered a scheduling order setting the matter for a hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction and consolidated it with the trial on the merits.

On November 11, 2006, the District Court extended the TRO for 120 days to allow the parties to conduct limited discovery and to fully brief the issues in advance of the Consolidated Trial, which would be set in January 2007. After discovery commenced, Plaintiffs moved for a protective order to allow plaintiffs to refrain from disclosing their identities and immigration status to defendants. The motion was granted over defendants' objection. Lozano v. City of Hazleton, 239 F.R.D. 397 (M.D. Pa. 2006).

On December 28, 2006, the City amended the Immigration Ordinance again, this time by adding an "implementation and process" section. Plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint, on January 12, 2007, to challenge the City's additional revisions to the Immigration and the Registration Ordinances. Defendant moved to dismiss and the plaintiffs in turn moved for summary judgment. The Court consolidated those motions with the trial. Several pre-trial rulings followed regarding contested evidentiary issues. Lozano v. City of Hazleton, 241 F.R.D. 252 (M.D. Pa. 2007) and Lozano v. City of Hazleton, No. 3:06-cv-01586, 2007 WL 775589 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 11, 2007).

The Court presided over the Consolidated Trial from March 12 through March 22, 2007. During the trial, the City again amended the Immigration Ordinance. The Court determined that it had jurisdiction to address only the new amended version, not prior versions.

On July 26, 2007, the District Court (Judge Munley) issued a 206-page Decision and Verdict declaring the Immigration and the Registration Ordinances unconstitutional and permanently enjoining the City from enforcing the ordinances. Judge Munley found the ordinances were pre-empted by federal law and violated plaintiffs' due process rights. He concluded: "[t]he genius of our Constitution is that it provides rights even to those who evoke the least sympathy from the general public. In that way, all in this nation can be confident of equal justice under its laws. Hazleton, in its zeal to control the presence of a group deemed undesirable, violated the rights of such people, as well as others within the community. Since the United States Constitution protects even the disfavored, the ordinances cannot be enforced." Lozano v. City of Hazleton, 496 F.Supp.2d 477, 555 (M.D. Pa. 2007).

The City filed a notice of appeal on August 23, 2007. The notice was amended the next day. Plaintiffs moved for an award of attorneys' fees and costs. The District Court agreed to reserve ruling on the fee application pending defendant's appeal.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (Judge Theodore McKee, Judge Richard Lowell Nygaard, and Judge Eugene Edward Siler) issued an opinion a full two years after hearing oral argument, on September 9, 2010. The court found that the plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge the Immigration Ordinance's private cause of action, but did have standing to challenge the housing provisions of the Immigration and the Registration Ordinances. On the merits, the court found that the Act was preempted by federal law because the power "to effectively prohibit residency based on immigration status that is so clearly within the exclusive domain of the federal government." 620 F.3d. 170.

Following the appellate court's ruling, the City petitioned the United States Supreme Court to hear an appeal. On July 8, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari, vacated the judgment, and ordered the case remanded for further consideration in light of Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, IM-AZ-0013. City of Hazleton, Pa. v. Lozano, 131 S. Ct. 2958 (2011).

Following remand, the Third Circuit ordered further briefing in light of the Supreme Court's decision. On July 26, 2013, the Third Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the District Court's order, granted six years earlier to the day. The Third Circuit, in an opinion written by Chief Judge Theodore McKee, again concluded that both the employment and housing provisions of the Hazleton ordinances were preempted by federal immigration law, and again affirmed the portion of the District Court's order enjoining enforcement of those provisions. Lozano v. City of Hazleton, 724 F.3d 297 (3d Cir. 2013), cert. denied, 134 S. Ct. 1491 (2014).

On remand to the District Court, the parties litigated the issue of plaintiffs' attorneys' fees. The parties were ordered to participate in a settlement conference with a magistrate judge. On October 6, 2015, Judge James M. Munley of the District Court granted the Plaintiffs' petition for attorneys’ fees in the amount of $1,379,089.51 and $47,594.70 in costs. On January 4, 2016, the judgement was satisfied. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Elizabeth Daligga (7/12/2012)

Dan Whitman (2/22/2015)

Dawn Lui (9/27/2018)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4730934/parties/lozano-v-city-of-hazleton/


Judge(s)

Carlson, Martin C. (Pennsylvania)

McKee, Theodore Alexander (Pennsylvania)

Munley, James Martin (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Alvarez, Denise (New York)

Barron, George (Pennsylvania)

Bellman, Richard F (New York)

Chang, Jennifer (California)

Chin, Jackson (New York)

Daniels, Shamaine A. (Pennsylvania)

Dyller, Barry H. (Pennsylvania)

Judge(s)

Carlson, Martin C. (Pennsylvania)

McKee, Theodore Alexander (Pennsylvania)

Munley, James Martin (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Alvarez, Denise (New York)

Barron, George (Pennsylvania)

Bellman, Richard F (New York)

Chang, Jennifer (California)

Chin, Jackson (New York)

Daniels, Shamaine A. (Pennsylvania)

Dyller, Barry H. (Pennsylvania)

Fiddler, Thomas B. (Pennsylvania)

Frankenthaler, Douglas W. (New Jersey)

Gelernt, Lee (New York)

Guttentag, Lucas (New York)

Harr, Kathryn C. (Pennsylvania)

Jadwat, Omar C. (New York)

Kaiser, Linda S. (Pennsylvania)

Knudsen, Paula Kay (Pennsylvania)

Knudsen Burke, Paula K (Pennsylvania)

Kovaly, Cheryl L. (Pennsylvania)

Llambelis, Lillian (New York)

Maer, Foster (New York)

Newell, Jennifer Chang (California)

O'Connor, Cozen (Pennsylvania)

Park, Elena (Pennsylvania)

Roper, Mary Catherine (Pennsylvania)

Rosenberg, Ilan (Pennsylvania)

Schwarz, Ghita (New York)

Taylor, William J. (Pennsylvania)

Trujillo, Doreen Y. (Pennsylvania)

Vaida, David (New Jersey)

Walczak, Witold J. (Pennsylvania)

Wilkinson, Thomas G. Jr. (Pennsylvania)

Winebrake, Peter D. (Pennsylvania)

Zurflieh, Peter (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Adair, Andrew B. (Pennsylvania)

Gallaway, Elizabeth (California)

Hethmon, Michael M. (District of Columbia)

Kobach, Kris W. (Missouri)

Mahoney, Harry G. (Pennsylvania)

Maresca, Carla P. (Pennsylvania)

Pendley, William Perry (Colorado)

Other Attorney(s)

Brown, Leonard G. (Pennsylvania)

Cottreau, Steven T. (District of Columbia)

Jain, Meetali (New Jersey)

Matson, Peter L. (Pennsylvania)

Morillo, Juan P. (District of Columbia)

Norton, Laurence E. II (Pennsylvania)

Wenger, Randalll (Pennsylvania)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Lozano v. City of Hazleton

Jan. 4, 2016 Docket

Legal Analysis of Proposed City of Hazleton Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance

Lozano v. City of Hazleton

No Court

June 29, 2006 Internal memorandum

Demand Letter from PRLDEF to Mayor

Lozano v. City of Hazleton

No Court

July 11, 2006 Correspondence

Ordinance 2006-10: Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance

Lozano v. City of Hazleton

No Court

July 13, 2006 Statute/Ordinance/Regulation

City Council Speech by Mayor Lou Barletta

Lozano v. City of Hazleton

No Court

July 13, 2006 Other

Ordinance 2006-13 Estabilishing a Registration Program for Residential Rental Properties in Hazleton, PA

Lozano v. City of Hazelton, PA

No Court

Aug. 15, 2006 Statute/Ordinance/Regulation
1

Complaint

Lozano v. City of Hazleton

Aug. 15, 2006 Complaint

Demand letter

Lozano v. City of Hazleton

Aug. 15, 2006 Correspondence
15

Stipulation and Order

Lozano v. City of Hazleton

Sept. 1, 2006 Order/Opinion

Ordinance 2006-16 Illegal Alient Immigration Relief Act Ordinance (as Amended; NOT PASSED)

Lozano v. City of Hazleton

No Court

Sept. 8, 2006 Statute/Ordinance/Regulation

Resources

Title Description External URL

Home Making in Small-Town America: Mexican and Latina/o Diasporas and Citizenship Practices in the Midwest

Aide Acosta

Home Making in Small-town America is an ethnographic study on recent Mexican migration to rural communities of east-central Illinois, and traces the cultural bases of a diasporic community in the con… Jan. 1, 2010 None

Immigration and Language Threat in a Local Newspaper: A Case Study of Hazleton, Pennsylvania

Matthew D. Kobialka

This research is a case study of immigration issues in Hazleton, Pennsylvania from 2005 – 2006 in the lead-up to the passage of the Illegal Immigration Relief Act by the city. Using reporting data fr… Jan. 1, 2012 None

Reclaiming Justice and Eliminating Inequality through Compassionate Migration: The Relentless Struggle of Migrants Living in the Shadows

William F. Arrocha

This article elaborates on the emerging concept of “compassionate migration” as a counter-hegemonic response to the institutions and systems that criminalize unauthorized immigration, including the a… Dec. 1, 2012 https://jhs.press.gonzaga.edu/...

Immigrant Covering

Stella Burch Elias

Over the last ten years there has been a marked shift in U.S. immigration law away from reliance upon statutory authorization and regulatory provisions to subregulatory or "liminal" rules and discret… Jan. 1, 2020 https://papers.ssrn.com/...

Post-Racial Proxies: Resurgent State an Local Anti-Alien Laws and Unity-Rebuilding Frames for Antidiscrimination Values

Mary D. Fan

Though unauthorized migration into the United States has diminished substantially since 2007, anti-“illegal alien” state and local laws and furor are flaring again. While one of the biggest worries r… July 30, 2010 https://papers.ssrn.com/...

The Importance of the Political in Immigration Federalism

S. Karthick Ramakrishnan, Pratheepan Gulasekaram

This Article provides a systematic, empirical investigation of the genesis of state and local immigration regulations, discrediting the popular notion that they are caused by uneven demographic press… Jan. 31, 2013 https://papers.ssrn.com/...

No Brown Towns: Anti-Immigrant Ordinances and Equality of Educational Opportunity for Latina/os

Tom I. Romero, II

From the article: This article explores the impact of anti-immigration ordinances on the racialized reproduction, concentration, and ultimate exclusion of Latino students from equal educational oppo… Sept. 1, 2008 None

Small Town Defenders or Constitutional Foes: Does the Hazelton, PA Anti-Illegal-Immigration Ordination on Federal Power?

Jason Englund

Oct. 1, 2007 http://www.heinonline.org/...

The Local Dilemma: Preemption and the Role of Federal Standards in State and Local Immigration Laws

Nathan G. Cortez

Dec. 1, 2008 None

A Localist Reading of Local Immigration Regulations

Rick Su

Sept. 1, 2008 None

Local Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinances: A Legal, Policy, and Litigation Analysis

Kristina M. Campbell

Jan. 1, 2007 http://www.ailadownloads.org/...

The Case for Immigration Law Enforcement in the United States and in Hazleton, Pennsylvania

Jan C. Ting

Jan. 1, 2008 http://heinonline.org/...

Immigration and the Constitutionality of Local Self Help: Escondido's Undocumented Immigrant Rental Ban

Kai Bartolomeo

July 1, 2008 http://weblaw.usc.edu/...

The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation

Andrew Nash

This paper describes the origins of fair lending litigation in the 1970s. It documents two litigation strategies, one aimed at discriminatory lenders in local communities and a second at the federal … Dec. 4, 2008 http://ssrn.com/...

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4730934/lozano-v-city-of-hazleton/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
35

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER GRANTING Plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order; The Defendant City of Hazleton is prohibited from enforcing the Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance 2006-18 and Registration Ordinance 2006-13. A hearing o n the preliminary injunction will be set by further order of court. This temporary restraining order shall remain in effect until NOVEMBER 14,2006, unless extended by the Court; This order shall take effect upon the posting of a $200.00 security bond by the plaintiffs w/the Clerk of Court.Signed by Judge James M. Munley on 10/31/06. (sm, )

Oct. 31, 2006 RECAP
72

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER GRANTING plaintiffs' request for a protective order.***SEE ORDER FOR DETAILS***Signed by Judge James M. Munley on 12/15/06. (sm, )

Dec. 15, 2006 RECAP
125

MEMORANDUM and ORDER re MOTIONS IN LIMINE: 1.denying dft's 92 Motion in Limine; 2. granting in part and denying in part 94 dft's Motion in Limine;3. denying dft's 96 Motion in Limine; 4. denying 98 Motion in Limine; 5. granting dft's 100 Motion in Limine;6. denying 102 dft's Motion in Limine; 7. denying 104 pltfs' Motion in Limine; and 8. denying 105 pltfs' Motion in Limine Signed by Judge James M. Munley on 2/27/07 (sm, )

Feb. 27, 2007 RECAP
170

MEMORANDUM and ORDER granting 168 Motion in Limine Signed by Judge James M. Munley on 3/9/07 (sm, )

March 9, 2007 RECAP
175

ORDER denying 171 plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Exhibit A, report of proposed expert, of dft's pretrial memorandum.Signed by Judge James M. Munley on 3/11/07 (sm, )

March 11, 2007 RECAP
409

DECISION AND VERDICT declaring the Hazleton Ordinance Nos 2006-18, 2006-40 and 2007-6 and Hazleton Ordinance No. 2006-13 UNCONSTITUTIONAL and PERMANENTLY ENJOINING the defendant from enforcing IIRA and RO.Signed by Judge James M. Munley on 7/26/07. (sm, )

July 26, 2007 RECAP
459

MEMORANDUM (Order to follow as separate docket entry) re Pltfs' Petitions for Atty Fees 416 443 .Signed by Honorable James M. Munley on 10/6/15. (Attachments: # 1 Appendix I, # 2 Appendix II)(sm)

1 Appendix I

View on PACER

2 Appendix II

View on PACER

Oct. 6, 2015 RECAP
460

ORDER (memorandum filed previously as separate docket entry), GRANTING in part Pltfs' petition for attys' fees and costs; AWARDING total costs in the amount of $1,426,684.21S; Amounts will be due on January 15, 2016, and the parties are directed to attempt to devise a payment schedule in the meantime. Signed by Honorable James M. Munley on 10/6/15. (Attachments: # 1 Appendix I)(sm)

1 Appendix I

View on PACER

Oct. 6, 2015 RECAP

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 15, 2006

Closing Date: Jan. 4, 2016

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A collection of public interest organizations that challenged the Pennsylvania City of Hazleton's ordinance penalizing those who rent to or hire illegal immigrants.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations

ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of Hazleton (Hazleton), City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

42 U.S.C. § 1981

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Equal Protection

Federalism (including 10th Amendment)

Supremacy Clause

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Amount Defendant Pays: $1,426,684.21

Order Duration: 2006 - None

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Housing

Discrimination-basis:

Immigration status

Immigration/Border:

Constitutional rights

Employer sanctions

Employment

Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation

Work authorization - criteria

Work authorization - procedures