Case: American Baptist Churches v. Thornburgh

3:85-cv-03255 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Filed Date: July 7, 1985

Closed Date: 1999

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On July 7, 1985, religious and refugee service organizations and two individual undocumented aliens brought a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against various government officials, including the United States Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, challenging prosecutions for harboring undocumented aliens. Plaintiffs contended that the defendants' application of immigration laws violated the First Amendment and equal protection. The Plaintiffs …

On July 7, 1985, religious and refugee service organizations and two individual undocumented aliens brought a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against various government officials, including the United States Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, challenging prosecutions for harboring undocumented aliens. Plaintiffs contended that the defendants' application of immigration laws violated the First Amendment and equal protection. The Plaintiffs sought injunctive relief.

Defendants moved to dismiss the case.

In March of 1987, the District Court (Chief Judge Peckham) granted in part and denied in part defendants' motion to dismiss. The Court held that: (1) religious organizations had standing to allege that prosecution of religious sanctuary workers under criminal harboring and transporting statute violated First Amendment; (2) religious organizations' complaint that prosecution of religious sanctuary workers violated First Amendment stated cause of action; and (3) Central American refugee service organizations lacked standing to assert violation of Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugee's right to temporary refugee or discriminatory application of immigration laws. American Baptist Churches v. Thornburgh 666 F.Supp. 1358 (N.D. Cal. 1987). An amended memorandum and opinion was later issued. American Baptist Churches v. Meese, 712 F.Supp. 756 (N.D. Cal. 1989).

It is unclear from the docket what transpired from 1989 to 1990, but the case eventually settled. The District Court approved the settlement in January 1991. The Settlement Agreement defined a class of Salvadorans and Guatemalans who would be afforded de novo, unappealable asylum adjudication proceedings, which included a dispute resolution mechanism. American Baptist Churches v. Thornburgh, 760 F.Supp. 796)(N.D. Cal. 1991).

The PACER docket is incomplete, but it appears that post settlment activity continued through June 1999, when the Settlement Agreement was modified. No further activity is noted.

Summary Authors

Miles Chan (8/3/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Legge, Charles A. (California)

Peckham, Robert Francis (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Blum, Carolyn P. (California)

Coliver, Sandra (California)

Garrett, James J. (California)

Ginzberg, Abby (New York)

Guttentag, Lucas (New York)

Margolin, Ephraim (California)

Morrison, Virginia (California)

Smith, Debra A. (California)

Judge(s)

Legge, Charles A. (California)

Peckham, Robert Francis (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Blum, Carolyn P. (California)

Coliver, Sandra (California)

Garrett, James J. (California)

Ginzberg, Abby (New York)

Guttentag, Lucas (New York)

Margolin, Ephraim (California)

Morrison, Virginia (California)

Smith, Debra A. (California)

Stavis, Morton (New York)

Van Der Hout, Marc (California)

Zigler, Michael L. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bombaugh, Robert L. (District of Columbia)

Dornell, Lisa (District of Columbia)

Gerson, Stuart M. (District of Columbia)

Isgro, Francesco (District of Columbia)

Killefer, Gail (California)

McGiven, William T. Jr. (California)

Mueller, Robert S. III (California)

Ogden, David W. (District of Columbia)

Russoniello, Joseph R. (California)

Schirle, Stephen L. (California)

Uitti, Mary Beth (California)

Van Yzerlooy, Monique (California)

Wolfe, Andrew M. (California)

Yeargin, Robert (California)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Deale, Frank E. (New York)

Hamm, Darryl L. (California)

Schechter, Lori A. (California)

Yaroshefsky, Ellen (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:85-cv-03255

Docket

June 2, 1999

June 2, 1999

Docket

3:85-cv-03255

Opinion

666 F.Supp. 1358

March 30, 1987

March 30, 1987

Order/Opinion

3:85-cv-03255

Opinion

712 F.Supp. 756

March 24, 1989

March 24, 1989

Order/Opinion
208

3:85-cv-03255

Opinion

760 F.Supp. 796

Jan. 31, 1991

Jan. 31, 1991

Order/Opinion
233

3:85-cv-03255

Stipulation and Order to Modify Settlement Agreement

June 1, 1999

June 1, 1999

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 24, 2022, 3:11 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 7, 1985

Closing Date: 1999

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Religious and refugee service organizations who challenged prosecutions for harboring aliens, including Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Immigration and Naturalization Service,, Federal

United States Attorney General, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens

Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Issues

General:

International law

Immigration/Border:

Asylum - criteria

Asylum - procedure

Constitutional rights

Criminal prosecution

Deportation - criteria

Refugees

Temporary protected status