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Walters v. Reno

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
145 F.3d 1032 (9th Cir. 1998)


Walters, et al. (plaintiffs) brought suit against the federal government (defendant), claiming that the procedures used by the INS to obtain final orders in immigration document fraud cases violated their procedural due process rights. The INS was able to issue unappealable final orders (which usually resulted in deportation) against aliens charged with document fraud if the aliens did not request a hearing within 60 days of receiving notice of intent to fine and notice of rights forms. The plaintiffs claimed that the forms were confusing and misleading and did not adequately inform the aliens of their rights. The plaintiffs moved to certify a class of about 4,000 aliens who had been or were subject to final orders. The district court certified the class and granted its motion for summary judgment and injunctive relief. The government appealed. The appeal with respect to the class certification claimed that countless individual proceedings would result from the district court’s injunction, thus reducing judicial efficiency contrary to the purposes of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The government also contended that the factual differences among the class members render the certification inappropriate.

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