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Abriq v. Metroplitan Government of Nashville

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

April 23, 2018

ABDULLAH ABRIQ, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated
v.
METROPLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY

          CAMPBELL JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER AND PROTECTIVE ORDER

          BARBARA D. HOLMES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Defendant Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County has filed a motion to compel Plaintiff to answer interrogatories and provide documentation about his immigration status, the status of his immigration proceedings, and the information that ICE possessed to support its arrest of Plaintiff. See Docket Nos. 148 and 149. Plaintiff filed a response in opposition (Docket No. 155) requesting a protective order precluding Metro from inquiring into these matters.

         Metro also moved for leave (Docket No. 163) to file a reply to Plaintiff's response, which is GRANTED. The Clerk is directed to file Metro's response found at Docket No. 163-1. The Court has considered Metro's motion, Plaintiff's response in opposition, and Metro's reply. For the reasons stated herein, Metro's motion (Docket No. 148) is DENIED except as provided herein.

         Plaintiff's request for a protective order is GRANTED as provided herein.

         Background

         As described in Judge Campbell's recent memorandum opinion ruling on Metro's motion to dismiss,

[t]his purported class action is one of several such cases filed across the country in recent years challenging the constitutionality of local law enforcement's detaining immigrants subject to detainers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). Plaintiff Abdullah Abriq is a foreign national who immigrated to the United States under an F-1 student visa. Plaintiff resided in Davidson County and attended Tennessee State University. Plaintiff alleges that he has never been arrested for or convicted of a crime.
Plaintiff alleges that, on April 6, 2017, ICE officials took custody of him, pending civil removal proceedings. Plaintiff contends that, also on April 6, 2017, ICE officials transferred custody of him to the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (“Metro”) at the Davidson County Jail, where he was held until April 11, 2017. Plaintiff alleges that ICE had no warrant or probable cause to arrest him. Plaintiff also alleges that Metro had no warrant or probable cause to believe Plaintiff had committed a criminal offense or to take custody of him, and that Metro had no lawful authority to hold him as an immigration detainee.
Plaintiff contends that, despite the agreement's expiration and having no new § 287 agreement, Metro, through an ongoing custom, policy and practice and at the direction of Sheriff Hall, has continued to “seize” and hold administrative detainees for ICE, including Plaintiff, with no lawful authority to do so.

         Docket No. 136 at 1-2. Of the claims originally made by Plaintiff, only his Fourth Amendment claim remains, all other claims having been dismissed upon Metro's motion. Docket No. 137. Metro denies any violation of Plaintiff's rights under the Fourth Amendment and asserts that it acted lawfully in detaining Plaintiff.

         Legal Standard

         As a general matter, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 allows discovery of “any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b). The trial court has wide discretion when dealing with discovery matters. S.S. v. E. Kentucky Univ., 532 F.3d 445, 451 (6th Cir. 2008). This includes when deciding if information might be relevant. Id. A party may move for an order compelling discovery under Rule 37(a) after “the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with the person or party failing to make disclosure or discovery in an effort to obtain it without court action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(1); Local Rule 37.01(a). Under Rule 26(c), the court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c). The “good cause” necessary to sustain a protective order under Rule 26(c) must be ...


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