Case: Cervantes v. Guerra

1:79-cv-00192 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Filed Date: Sept. 4, 1979

Closed Date: July 13, 1981

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1979, plaintiffs, two legal resident aliens, filed a lawsuit against the Hidalgo County Community Action Agency, Inc. [HCCAA] in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, challenging the Hidalgo County Community Action Agency's bylaws which excluded aliens from serving on its board of directors or voting in board elections. The Hidalgo County Community Action Agency, Inc. was a nonprofit corporation organized under Texas law that received federal funds under Title II of t…

In 1979, plaintiffs, two legal resident aliens, filed a lawsuit against the Hidalgo County Community Action Agency, Inc. [HCCAA] in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, challenging the Hidalgo County Community Action Agency's bylaws which excluded aliens from serving on its board of directors or voting in board elections. The Hidalgo County Community Action Agency, Inc. was a nonprofit corporation organized under Texas law that received federal funds under Title II of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2701-2995d. Plaintiffs alleged the bylaws violated the Equal Protection Clause and the Supremacy Clause. Plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction to halt the board election. The request was denied.

On February 25, 1980, the district court entered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, holding that the exclusion of aliens from voting for and serving on HCCAA's board violated the Equal Protection Clause. The Court set aside the board election results and the HCCAA appealed.

On July 13, 1981, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit (Judge Wisdom) reversed the judgment of the District Court, finding that the bylaws passed equal protection scrutiny. The Court also held that the bylaws were not inconsistent with the Economic Opportunity Act or the regulations which interpreted the Act. Cervantes v. Guerra, 651 F.2d 974 (5th Cir. 1981).

Summary Authors

Brian Ponton (8/22/2007)

People


Judge(s)

DeAnda, James (Texas)

Wisdom, John Minor (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Powell, George P. (Texas)

Yanez, Linda R. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Hiester, Travis (Texas)

Judge(s)

DeAnda, James (Texas)

Wisdom, John Minor (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Powell, George P. (Texas)

Yanez, Linda R. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Hiester, Travis (Texas)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

80-01294

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

651 F.2d 974, 1981 U.S.App.LEXIS 11513

July 13, 1981

July 13, 1981

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 19, 2022, 3:09 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 4, 1979

Closing Date: July 13, 1981

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Two legal permanent residents who were denied the ability to vote or run for positions on their Community Action Agency's board of directors due to their alien status.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Hidalgo County (Hidalgo), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Federalism (including 10th Amendment)

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief denied

Issues

General:

Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)

Immigration/Border:

Constitutional rights

Status/Classification