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Enriquez-Perdomo v. Newman

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky

September 26, 2019




         This matter is before the Court on motion to dismiss/motion for summary judgment by Defendants, DN 20, and motion pursuant to FRCP 56(d) by Plaintiff, DN 31. For the following reasons, Defendants’ motion will be stayed pending discovery on the limited issue of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff’s 56(d) motion will be granted in accordance with the guidelines set forth below.

         I. Background

         A. Undisputed facts

         Riccy Mabel Enriquez-Perdomo (“Plaintiff”) is a Honduran national. DN 1, p. 2. On August 17, 2017, Plaintiff visited the Louisville office of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) Agency to provide bond money and secure pre-trial release of a detained individual. DN 1, p. 3. At the time of her visit, Plaintiff’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) status was current with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). DN 20, p. 3. After providing biographical information, DN 20-3, p. 1, Plaintiff was detained by ICE staff and transported to at least one other location to be processed for removal from the United States, DN 20-1, p. 3. Plaintiff was released from custody on or about August 24, 2017 in Boone County, Kentucky. DN 1, p. 5.

         Plaintiff initiated this action against four ICE agents-Ricardo A. Newman, Joseph M. Phelps, John R. Korkin, and Shawn Byers (“Defendants”)-seeking damages under Bivens for alleged constitutional violations. Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Plaintiff and Defendants dispute the facts that led up to Plaintiff’s detention.

         B. Disputed facts

         In her complaint, Plaintiff alleges Defendants “actually checked the Agency’s database and confirmed that Plaintiff had properly registered and been approved for DACA status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and that her DACA status was current.” DN 1, p. 4. Plaintiff claims that “Despite their knowledge of Plaintiff’s lawful status Defendants … arrested and detained Plaintiff anyway.” Id. Plaintiff further alleges that “Defendants had no factual basis to believe that Plaintiff was not lawfully in the U.S. nor did they have any other factual basis to believe that [she] was subject to lawful arrest.” Id. Finally, Plaintiff asserts she was “never informed of the reason for her arrest and detention, nor was she informed of the reasons for the multiple moves.” Id. at 5.

         Defendants paint a very different picture. Defendant Ricardo Newman alleges he personally reviewed Ms. Enriquez’s immigration status in the Computer-Linked Application Information Management System (“CLAIMS”), the Person Centric Query Service (“PCQS”) and the Enforce Remove Module. Newman claims this review “confirmed that Ms. Enriquez-Perdomo was subject to an existing removal order from 2004 and that her [DACA] expired in March 2017.” DN 20-4, p. 1–2. After his “independent review, ” Newman alleges he “asked [Defendant] John Korkin to check additional databases to determine whether [Plaintiff] had current DACA.” Id. Korkin alleges he “searched all of the USCIS databases that [he] believed would contain information about Ms. Enriquez-Perdomo’s DACA status, ” including CLAIMS, PCQS, Enterprise Document Management System, and the Central Index System. DN 20-5, p. I. According to Korkin, “None of the databases [he] searched revealed that Ms. Enriquez-Perdomo had current DACA status.” Id. After Korkin “could not confirm Ms. Enriquez-Perdomo's claim that her DACA was current, ” Newman alleges he “processed Ms. Enriquez-Perdomo and notified her that she was being charged under 8 U.S.C. § 1182.”[1] DN 20-4, p. 2.

         After Ms. Enriquez was transported from the Louisville ICE office, Newman says, “it was discovered that USCIS had begun inputting DACA information into the Electronic Immigration System (ELIS), ” and the databases that he and Korkin had checked “no longer had the most up-to-date information.” Id. Defendants claim “Ms. Enriquez-Perdomo was promptly released after her DACA status was confirmed in ELIS.” Id.

         C. Subject matter jurisdiction

         Defendants challenge the factual existence of subject matter jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). DN 20-1, p. 4.

         II. Legal standard

         Courts must resolve questions of subject matter jurisdiction before ruling on the merits of the claim. Imhoff Inv., L.L.C. v. Alfoccino, Inc., 792 F.3d 627, 631 (6th Cir. 2015) (citing Gross v. Hougland,712 F.2d 1034, 1036 (6th Cir.1983)). "Trial courts have broad discretion and inherent power to stay discovery until preliminary questions that may dispose of the case, ” such as subject matter jurisdiction, are ...

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