Case: Gonzales v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security

2:06-cv-01411 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

Filed Date: Sept. 28, 2006

Closed Date: Jan. 30, 2017

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 28, 2006, a consortium of immigrant rights advocacy groups, including Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the American Immigration Law Foundation, filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, challenging the Department of Homeland Security's refusal to comply with the precedent decision of the Ninth Circuit in Perez-Gonzalez v. Ashcroft, 379 F.3d 783 (9th Cir. 2004). Plaintiffs alleged that federal immigration officials had bee…

On September 28, 2006, a consortium of immigrant rights advocacy groups, including Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the American Immigration Law Foundation, filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, challenging the Department of Homeland Security's refusal to comply with the precedent decision of the Ninth Circuit in Perez-Gonzalez v. Ashcroft, 379 F.3d 783 (9th Cir. 2004). Plaintiffs alleged that federal immigration officials had been ordered to deny applications for "Permission to Reapply for Admission After Deportation or Removal" filed on form I-212 (I-212 waiver application) when ten years had not elapsed since the applicants' last departure. Plaintiffs asserted that this practice violated the Perez-Gonzalez v. Ashcroft decision, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the Fifth Amendment. As a result of the practice, plaintiffs were denied the opportunity to apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status and faced possible deportation proceedings.

Contemporaneously with initiating the lawsuit, plaintiffs requested a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction and class certification. The government filed papers with the court opposing the requested relief.

Following an injunction hearing, the District Court (Judge Marsha J. Pechman) issued a preliminary injunction and certified the case as a class action. In an order dated November 13, 2006, Judge Pechman ruled that: (1) plaintiffs were not required to exhaust their administrative remedies before bringing suit; (2) plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the policy violated the INA; and (3) the requirements for class certification were satisfied. Gonzales v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., 239 F.R.D. 620 (W.D. Wash. 2006).

On motion by the defendants, the Court (Judge Pechman) modified the wording of its preliminary injunction on December 19, 2006, to make clear that it extended only to class members whose I-212 waiver applications were adjudicated within the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit.

Defendants appealed the injunction, and on January 24, 2007, the District Court entered an order staying discovery and further action in the trial court pending resolution of defendants' appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

On November 30, 2007, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit (Judge Consuelo M. Callahan, Judge William C. Canby, Jr., and Judge Cynthia H. Hall) vacated the District Court's preliminary injunction. Duran Gonzales v. Dep't of Homeland Sec., 508 F.3d 1227 (9th Cir. 2007). It found that under the Supreme Court's decisions in Chevron USA, Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 467 U.S. 837 (1984), and National Cable & Telecommunications Ass'n v. Brand X Internet Services, 545 U.S. 967(2005), courts are required to defer to an administrative agency's reasonable interpretation of a statute even if there is earlier judicial precedent to the contrary; therefore, since the Court found that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) had reasonably interpreted the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act in In re Torres-Garcia, 23 I. & N. Dec. 866 (BIA 2006), to dispose of plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief, it had to defer to the BIA's judgment.

After considering and ultimately rejecting a petition by plaintiffs for rehearing en banc, the Ninth Circuit issued its mandate on January 23, 2009. That same day, the District Court (Judge Pechman) entered a temporary restraining order to keep class members from being deported while it finished adjudicating the case. On February 6, 2009, however, it found that in light of the Ninth Circuit's decision, there was little likelihood that plaintiffs would succeed on the merits and thus denied plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. Gonzales v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., No. 2:06−cv−01411, 2009 WL 302283, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12661 (W.D. Wash. Feb. 6, 2009). On February 27, it also denied plaintiffs' motions to amend their complaint and amend and redefine the class in order to challenge the retroactive application of the Ninth Circuit decision, reaffirming its decision in its order denying the preliminary injunction that the Ninth Circuit decision could not be interpreted to apply only prospectively. Gonzales v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., No. 2:06−cv−01411, 2009 WL 506848, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18753 (W.D. Wash. Feb. 27, 2009).

Having ruled on all of the legal questions before it, the Court entered judgment for the defendants. The Ninth Circuit affirmed on October 25, 2011. Duran Gonzales v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., 659 F.3d 930 (9th Cir. 2011). The Ninth Circuit stated that its previous decision, Duran Gonzales v. Dep't of Homeland Sec., 508 F.3d 1227 (9th Cir. 2007), applied retroactively. However, on March 1, 2012, the Ninth Circuit withdrew its decision in a related case, Garfias-Rodriguez v. Holder, 649 F.3d 942 (9th Cir. 2011), and ordered rehearing en banc. The Ninth Circuit stayed its mandate in the present case pending the outcome of the en banc decision. On October 19, 2012, the court issued its en banc decision in which it overruled the retroactivity analysis that the court applied in Duran Gonzales v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., 659 F.3d 930 (9th Cir. 2011). Garfias-Rodriguez v. Holder, 702 F.3d 504 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc). The Ninth Circuit ruled that, when it overturns its own precedent in light of the contrary statutory interpretation by an agency, it will treat such instances as if the agency changed its rule, and analyze whether it applies retroactively under the Montgomery Ward test. Montgomery Ward & Co. v. FTC, 691 F.2d 1322, 1328 (9th Cir. 1982). The five factors of the test include: 1) whether the case is of first impression; 2) whether the new rule is an abrupt departure from an old practice or if it merely fills a void in an unsettled area of law; 3) the extent to which a party subject to a new rule, relied on the old rule; 4) the degree of burden that retroactive application places on the party; 5) the statutory interest in applying a new rule despite the reliance on the old rule by the party.

Subsequently, the Ninth Circuit ordered the parties in the present case to submit briefs discussing the effect of the Garfias-Rodriguez decision. On March 29, 2013, the Ninth Circuit issued an order, withdrawing its previous opinion, vacating the District Court's decision, and remanding the case for further proceedings. The Ninth Circuit refused to apply law of the case in light of its en banc decision. It also added that it was expressing "no opinion on . . . . whether the Montgomery Ward factors can be adjudicated on a class-wide basis." On July 23, 2013, the Ninth Circuit issued its mandate.

On remand, the case was set for trial. However, the parties reached a settlement and the case was dismissed with prejudice on January 16, 2014, but the settlement was not yet perfected. On March 14, 2014, the parties entered a joint stipulation to reopen the case to enter the final settlement agreement. The District Court issued its preliminary approval on March 21, 2014, also reopening the case. The Court amended the class definition, and dividing the class into three subclasses. The settlement involved remedies for class members who submitted adjustment of status and I-212 waiver applications on or after August 13, 2004 and on or before November 30, 2007. Under the agreement, various subclasses are entitled, with variations that can be seen in the agreement for more detail, to have their immigration cases reopened and adjudicated on the merits, based on the Montgomery Ward factors and without retroactive application of In re Torres-Garcia. The defendants agreed to give notice to all potential class members and, within 24 months of the effective date, provide a list of all class members and the status of the immigration proceedings. The agreement was to terminate within 30 months of its effective date.

Following a fairness hearing, the Court issued a final order, approving the settlement agreement, on July 21, 2014.

Summary Authors

Christopher Schad (6/22/2012)

Zhandos Kuderin (7/30/2014)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4753835/parties/gonzalez-v-us-department-of-homeland-security/


Judge(s)

Callahan, Consuelo Maria (California)

Canby, William Cameron Jr. (Arizona)

Hall, Cynthia Holcomb (California)

Attorney for Plaintiff

Adams, Matthew (Matt) Hyrum (Washington)

Attorney for Defendant

Chan, Priscilla To-Yin (Washington)

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:06-cv-01411

0:09-35174

07-35021

Docket [PACER]

July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014

Docket

2:06-cv-01411

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project - Press Release

No Court

Sept. 28, 2006

Sept. 28, 2006

Press Release
1

2:06-cv-01411

Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief - Class Action

Sept. 28, 2006

Sept. 28, 2006

Complaint
22

2:06-cv-01411

Order Granting in Part Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause

Oct. 11, 2006

Oct. 11, 2006

Order/Opinion
29

2:06-cv-01411

Order Granting Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Class Certification

Nov. 13, 2006

Nov. 13, 2006

Order/Opinion
34

2:06-cv-01411

Order Modifying Preliminary Injunction

Dec. 19, 2006

Dec. 19, 2006

Order/Opinion

2:06-cv-01411

07-35021

[Ninth Circuit] Opinion [Vacating the District Court's Order]

Duran Gonzales v. Department of Homeland Security

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Nov. 30, 2007

Nov. 30, 2007

Order/Opinion
53

2:06-cv-01411

Order Granting in Part Plaintiff's Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order

Jan. 23, 2009

Jan. 23, 2009

Order/Opinion
59

2:06-cv-01411

Order Denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Feb. 6, 2009

Feb. 6, 2009

Order/Opinion
64

2:06-cv-01411

Order [Denying] Plaintiffs' Motion to Amend Class Certification and Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint

Feb. 27, 2009

Feb. 27, 2009

Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4753835/gonzalez-v-us-department-of-homeland-security/

Last updated Jan. 12, 2024, 3:03 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
22

ORDER granting in part 2 Motion for TRO by Judge Marsha J. Pechman.(AO, )

Oct. 11, 2006

Oct. 11, 2006

Clearinghouse
29

ORDER granting 3 Motion to Certify Class and granting 2 Motion for Preliminary Injunction by Judge Marsha J. Pechman.(AO, ) Modified on 11/14/2006 - mailed copy of order to Marc Van Der Hout(MD, ).

Nov. 13, 2006

Nov. 13, 2006

Clearinghouse
53

ORDER granting in part 47 Motion for TRO. Plaintiffs' motion for TRO is granted. The Court reserves judgment on Plaintiffs' motion to amend class certification and preliminary injunction. by Judge Marsha J. Pechman.(RK)

Jan. 23, 2009

Jan. 23, 2009

Clearinghouse
59

Order DENYING IN PART Plaintiffs' motion (Dkt. No. 47) provisional class certification and preliminary injunction. The Court DENIES Plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction, but reserves the issue of class modification.by Judge Marsha J. Pechman. (RK)

Feb. 6, 2009

Feb. 6, 2009

Clearinghouse
64

ORDER denying 45 Motion for leave to file an amended complaint and denying 46 Motion to amend class certification. There are no remaining legal or factual disputes and the Court will enter Judgment in favor of Defendants by Judge Marsha J. Pechman.(RK)

Feb. 27, 2009

Feb. 27, 2009

Clearinghouse
99

ORDER granting 97 Stipulated Motion to Reopen Case. Case reopened, by Judge Marsha J. Pechman.(MD) (Entered: 03/21/2014)

March 21, 2014

March 21, 2014

RECAP
100

ORDER granting 98 Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement, Amendment of the Class definition and approval of notice to class. Fairness In-court Hearing set for 7/11/2014 at 09:00 AM before Judge Marsha J. Pechman, by Judge Marsha J. Pechman.(MD) (Entered: 03/21/2014)

March 21, 2014

March 21, 2014

RECAP
101

STATEMENT of Jorge Gabriel Patino re 100 Order on setting a Fairness Hearing(MD) (Entered: 06/19/2014)

June 18, 2014

June 18, 2014

PACER
102

RESPONSE by Defendants Janet Napolitano, US Department of Homeland Security re 101 Statement, 100 Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief, Set/Reset Hearings,, (Joint Response). (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Stevens, Elizabeth) (Entered: 07/08/2014)

July 8, 2014

July 8, 2014

PACER
103

MINUTE ENTRY for proceedings held before Judge Marsha J. Pechman- Dep Clerk: Rhonda Miller; Pla Counsel: Matt Adams; Def Counsel: Elizabeth Stevens; CR: Nancy Bauer; Fairness Hearing held on 7/11/2014. No one present to offer objections. Court approves settlement agreement. Court will enter order and final judgment. Parties to file proposed final judgment. (RM) (Entered: 07/13/2014)

July 11, 2014

July 11, 2014

PACER
104

ORDER ON FINAL APPROVEMENT OF THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT and amendment of the class definition by Judge Marsha J. Pechman. (RM) Modified on 7/22/2014 (RM) Copy mailed to Marc Van Der Hout. (Entered: 07/22/2014)

July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014

PACER
105

JUDGMENT BY COURT - THE COURT HAS ORDERED THAT the final class action settlement is approved, and has directed the parties to ensure compliance with the Courts final approval order. (MD) (Entered: 07/30/2014)

July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Washington

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 28, 2006

Closing Date: Jan. 30, 2017

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

People who have been denied the opportunity to apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status as a result of Department of Homeland Security’s refusal to comply with Perez-Gonzalez v. Ashcroft, 379 F.3d 783 (9th Cir. 2004).

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Department of Homeland Security, Federal

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

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

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2014 - 2017

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

Immigration/Border:

Admission - criteria

Admission - procedure

Constitutional rights

Deportation - criteria

Deportation - judicial review

Deportation - procedure

Status/Classification

Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties

Visas - criteria

Visas - procedures