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
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wallace, Senior Circuit Judge:
MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS
Argued and Submitted September 13, 2012
San Francisco, California
Before: WALLACE, GRABER, and BERZON, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by Judge 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.
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). See 8 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 ...