Justia Class Action Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Immigration Law
Pimentel v. Dreyfus, et al.
Plaintiff represented a class of legal immigrants in the state of Washington adversely affected by its recent termination of a state-funded food assistance program for legal immigrants, which exclusively benefitted Washington resident aliens who became ineligible for federal food stamps following the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, 8 U.S.C. 1601 et seq. Plaintiff contended that the state, by eliminating food assistance to class members while continuing to administer federal food assistance to U.S. citizens and certain qualified aliens, violated the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause and, by failing to provide class members adequate pre-deprivation notice and opportunity to be heard, also violated the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. Because plaintiff failed even to allege that the State treated her less favorably than a similarly situated citizen of the State, her claim of alienage discrimination failed on the merits. The court agreed with the State that plaintiff lacked the concrete and particularized interest required for standing to claim a procedural due process violation. Consequently, plaintiff either lacked standing or would not succeed on the merits of her claims. Therefore, the court reversed the district court's order granting the motion for a preliminary injunction, vacated the injunction, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Pimentel v. Dreyfus, et al." on Justia Law
Brown, et al. v. Offshore Specialty Fabricators, et al.
This appeal involved a putative class action brought against several oil and gas companies and several companies that provide labor for offshore oil and gas projects. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants maintained a hiring scheme to employ foreign workers on the Outer Continental Shelf in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1961-1968, and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), 43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq. The district court disposed of all plaintiffs' claims and then entered final judgment dismissing all claims. The court held that the Service Defendants did not violate RICO because the law that would make their conduct racketeering activity did not apply in the place where that conduct occurred, namely vessels floating on the waters of the Outer Continental Shelf. The court rejected plaintiffs' contention that the exemptions the Service Defendants possessed to the OCSLA manning requirements did not shield them from RICO liability because those exemptions were fraudulently obtained. The court also held that plaintiffs could not state a claim for a private right of action for damages under the OCSLA and the district court's dismissal was proper. The court further held that the district court did not err in disposing plaintiffs' OCSLA enforcement claim. Accordingly, the judgment of the district court was affirmed. View "Brown, et al. v. Offshore Specialty Fabricators, et al." on Justia Law
Duran Gonzales, et al. v. U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, et al.
This case arose when plaintiffs voluntarily filed applications for adjustment of status in reliance on the Ninth Circuit's opinion in Perez-Gonzalez v. Ashcroft, wherein the court purportedly held that individuals like plaintiffs were eligible for relief. The court held that plaintiffs' request for relief from the retroactive application of Duran Gonzales II to their applications for adjustment of status must be denied because (1) Duran Gonzales II itself applied its rulings to plaintiffs, thus giving the opinion retroactive application; and (2) another three-judge panel had reaffirmed that Duran Gonzales II applied retroactively and that, accordingly, plaintiffs were ineligible to receive I-212 waivers. Therefore, the district court's orders denying plaintiffs' motions to amend class certification and to file an amended complaint, and dismissing the action, were affirmed.
Alli v. Decker
Plaintiffs, lawful permanent residents taken into custody based on past convictions, (8 U.S.C. 1182) sought a declaratory judgment that continued detention of putative class members, without bond hearings, violated the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Due Process Clause. The District Court denied class certification and dismissed the class complaint, based on 8 U.S.C. 1252(f)(1), which precludes class actions that seek to "enjoin or restrain the operation of" several immigration statutes. The Third Circuit reversed. The word "restrain" does not encompass classwide declaratory relief.
Echavarria, et al v. Pitts, et al
Appellees filed suit asserting that their due process rights were violated when the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") failed to make additional attempts at service after it had knowledge that the initial attempt at notice failed where the notice informed an obligor that an alien had been detained by DHS and that the obligor could post a cash bond to secure the alien's release. At issue was whether, in order to satisfy due process, the government must take additional reasonable steps to notify a bond obligor that the bond had been breached when the government had knowledge that the initial attempt at notice failed. The court affirmed summary judgment in favor of appellees and held that DHS violated the bond obligor's due process rights when it failed to take additional reasonable steps to notify the obligors of the bond demand after the initial notice was returned as undeliverable before it collected the bond.