Jose Aguilar and Irma Esparza (plaintiffs) are legal permanent resident aliens who were pulled over by Kiefer (defendant) for driving with a faulty headlight. After taking both plaintiffs' green cards, Kiefer asked if they had paid for them. The plaintiffs do not speak much English, and thought the trooper was asking if they paid the required fees, so they answered affirmatively. Kiefer kept the green cards and let the plaintiffs go. The plaintiffs retained an attorney but were unable to get their green cards back until four days later. The plaintiffs and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee sued the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) and Kiefer, arguing that Kiefer's actions were part of a larger pattern of OSHP questioning motorists about their immigration status solely based on their Hispanic appearance in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteen Amendment. The district court denied Kiefer's motion for summary judgment based on a claim of qualified immunity. He appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.