Melendres v. Arpaio

Decision Date25 September 2012
Docket NumberNo. 12–15098.,12–15098.
Citation695 F.3d 990
PartiesManuel de Jesus Ortega MELENDRES; Jessica Quitugua Rodriguez; David Rodriguez; Velia Meraz; Manuel Nieto, Jr.; Somos America, Plaintiffs–Appellees, v. Joseph M. ARPAIO; Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Defendants–Appellants.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Timothy J. Casey (argued) and James L. Williams, Schmitt, Schneck, Smyth, Casey & Even, P.C., Phoenix, AZ, for the defendants-appellants.

Thomas P. Liddy, Maricopa County Attorney's Officer, Phoenix, AZ, for the defendants-appellants.

Anne Lai (argued), Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, New Haven, CT, for the plaintiffs-appellees.

Stanley Young and Andrew C. Byrnes, Covington & Burling LLP, Redwood Shores, CA, for the plaintiffs-appellees.

Tammy Albarran and David R. Hults, Covington & Burling LLP, San Francisco, CA, for the plaintiffs-appellees.

Lesli Gallagher, Covington & Burling LLP, San Diego, CA, for the plaintiffs-appellees.

Cecillia D. Wang, ACLU Foundation Immigrants' Rights Project, San Francisco, CA, for the plaintiffs-appellees.

Nancy Ramirez, Mexican American Legal and Educational Fund, Los Angeles, CA, for the plaintiffs-appellees.

Dan Pochoda and James Lyall, ACLU Foundation of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ, for the plaintiffs-appellees.

Andre I. Segura, ACLU Foundation Immigrants' Rights Project, New York City, for the plaintiffs-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court, for the District of Arizona, G. Murray Snow, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. 2:07–cv–02513–GMS.

Before: J. CLIFFORD WALLACE, SUSAN P. GRABER, and MARSHA S. BERZON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

WALLACE, Senior Circuit Judge:

Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (collectively, the Defendants) appeal from the district court's December 23, 2011 order (Order), which granted Manuel de Jesus Ortega Melendres, David and Jessica Rodriguez, Manuel Nieto, Jr., Velia Meraz, the organization Somos America, and the class of individuals the named plaintiffs represent (collectively, the Plaintiffs) “partial injunctive relief” prohibiting the Defendants from detaining any individual “based only on knowledge or reasonable belief, without more, that the person is unlawfully present within the United States.” We have jurisdiction to review the district court's order under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(1), and we affirm.

I.

The Plaintiffs contend that the Defendants have a “custom, policy and practice of racial profiling toward Latino persons in Maricopa County and an unconstitutional policy and practice of stopping Latino drivers and passengers pretextually and without individualized suspicion or cause, and of subjecting them to different, burdensome, stigmatizing and injurious treatment once stopped,” under the auspices of enforcing federal immigration laws and/or Arizona state immigration-related laws. In particular, the Plaintiffs allege that, since September 2007, the Defendants and persons under their control have conducted racially discriminatory traffic stops and launched “crime suppression sweeps,” also known as “saturation patrols,” targeting Latinos as part of their immigration enforcement plan.

It is alleged that the Defendants have, for some time, sought to enforce immigration-related laws. In 2006, as part of a “crackdown” against illegal immigration, the Defendants allegedly entered into an agreement with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency whereby a number of the Defendants were cross-certified to enforce federal civil immigration laws under section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act). See8 U.S.C. § 1357(g) (providing for the enforcement of civil immigration laws by local law enforcement agencies where the United States Attorney General enters into a written agreement with local officials). In 2009, however, ICE modified its agreement with the Defendants such that the Defendants' deputies no longer had Act section 287(g) authority to enforce civil immigration laws except in jails. The Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants racially profiled Latinos in their immigration enforcement program both before and after ICE modified its agreement with the Defendants.

Each of the five named plaintiffs was stopped by defendant officers during one of three traffic incidents. The named individual plaintiffs, each of whom is of “Latino descent and, by physical appearance, [a] person[ ] of color,” alleged that they were stopped, detained, searched, and/or questioned by Defendant officers pursuant to the Defendants' policy or custom of racially profiling Latinos during traffic stops. Somos America, a membership organization, has likewise alleged that under the Defendants' immigration enforcement program, its members have been “unlawfully targeted, stopped, questioned and/or detained by” defendant officers because of their race. The named plaintiffs further alleged that, just as they have been harmed, similarly situated Latino individuals “have been or will be in the future, stopped, detained, questioned or searched by [the Defendants'] agents while driving or sitting in a vehicle on a public roadway or parking area in Maricopa County, Arizona.”

The Plaintiffs filed this putative class civil rights action alleging that the Defendants' racially discriminatory policy violates the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, Article II, section 8 of the Arizona Constitution, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the Defendants from engaging in unlawful racial profiling and other “racially motivated treatment” of the plaintiff class.

After discovery, the parties filed competing motions for summary judgment. For their part, the Plaintiffs moved for partial summary judgment on their Fourteenth Amendment claim, contending that undisputed evidence established that the Defendants racially profiled Latinos when conducting their crime-suppression sweeps in response to racially charged citizen requests. At the summary judgment hearing, they also moved for summary judgment on Ortega Melendres's Fourth Amendment claim that the Defendants may not detain a person based solely on suspicion about that person's unlawful immigration status. The Plaintiffs concurrently sought certification of a class composed of [a]ll Latino persons who, since January 2007, have been or will be in the future stopped, detained, questioned or searched by [the Defendants'] agents while driving or sitting in a vehicle on a public roadway or parking area in Maricopa County, Arizona.”

The Defendants filed a competing motion for summary judgment, challenging the Plaintiffs' standing to seek declaratory and injunctive relief. The Defendants also sought summary judgment on the Plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claims, arguing that the traffic stops of the named plaintiffs were based on probable cause. Finally, the Defendants argued that undisputed evidence established that the Defendants do not engage in racial profiling and that the Plaintiffs' Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI claims must fail.

In ruling on the competing summary judgment motions, the district court held that the Plaintiffs had standing to pursue equitable relief on their Fourth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, and Title VI claims. The district court likewise certified the Plaintiffs' proposed class. The court then granted the Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment on their Fourth Amendment claims and entered a preliminary injunction barring the Defendants from detaining an individual based solely on reasonable suspicion or knowledgethat the individual is unlawfully present in the country. Finally, the district court granted the Defendants' motion for summary judgment as to two named plaintiffs, but denied their remaining motions and ordered that trial proceed on the Plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, and Title VI claims. The trial has been held, but the district court has not yet issued a post-trial decision or final judgment.

II.

On appeal of the district court's decision granting “partial injunctive relief,” the Defendants ask us to address a number of issues, including the district court's: determination that the Plaintiffs have standing to pursue injunctive relief on Fourth Amendment grounds; statements of Fourth Amendment law; decision to certify the plaintiff class; description of Arizona Revised Statutes section 13–2929; and conclusion that the Plaintiffs have standing to pursue their Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI claims.

While the Defendants raise a number of issues in this appeal, we emphasize that we have before us only an order granting “partial injunctive relief.” Although the Defendants attempt to style this appeal as one from permanent injunctive relief, the district court has not entered final judgment in this case. Indeed, the trial has only recently concluded and final judgment remains on the horizon. Additionally, there is nothing in the Order purporting to provide a permanent remedy. Thus, we treat the Order as granting only preliminary injunctive relief. As a result, our task on this appeal is to determine whether the district court's partial, preliminary injunctive relief was appropriate—a limited form of review. See Zepeda v. INS, 753 F.2d 719, 724 (9th Cir.1983). Thus, except with respect to those issues that we identify below, we need not perform the searching review that the Defendants invite us to undertake, as such review should be had only after the district court enters a final judgment.

III.

We turn first to the extent of our jurisdiction to hear this appeal. While we unquestionably have jurisdiction to hear an interlocutory appeal of the district court's preliminary injunction, see28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(1), we may also exercise pendent appellate jurisdiction over any “otherwise non-appealable ruling [that] i...

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