Lopez-Venegas v. Johnson Settlement

Lopez-Venegas v. Johnson
United States District Court for the Central District of California; Case No. 13-cv-03972

Welcome to the Lopez-Venegas v. Johnson Settlement Website

A settlement has been proposed in a class action lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California titled Lopez-Venegas v. Johnson, Case No. 13-cv-03972.

The settlement concerns the Voluntary Return authority (“Voluntary Return”) administered by immigration enforcement agencies in Southern California. Under Voluntary Return, certain individuals who are not U.S. citizens or nationals (“Individuals”) unlawfully residing in the U.S. may voluntarily agree to leave the U.S. by signing a document waiving their right to appear before a judge.

Plaintiffs contend that, as administered in Southern California, Voluntary Return violates their rights under both the Constitution and the statutes and regulations that apply to the immigration enforcement agencies. Defendants (representatives of U.S. immigration agencies) deny wrongdoing and liability and both sides disagree on what, if anything, the class could have obtained after trial.

No court has decided which side is right. But all parties have agreed that Defendants will provide relief to certain Individuals affected by Voluntary Return in order to resolve the Action.

If between June 1, 2009 and August 28, 2014 you agreed to return to Mexico while being detained by U.S. Border Patrol or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Southern California and you then returned to Mexico, subject to restrictions stated in FAQ 5 on this website you may be eligible to return to the United States.

The settlement will provide a process by which Class Members (defined in FAQ 5) can apply to return to the United States in the legal position they occupied prior to their departure from the United States.

OBJECT If you are a Class Member, you may write to the Court about why you object to (i.e., don’t like) the Settlement and think it shouldn’t be approved. Deadline: December 26, 2014
ATTEND THE “FAIRNESS HEARING” The Court will hold a “Fairness Hearing” to consider the Settlement and the request for attorneys’ fees and costs of the lawyers who brought the Action.

If you are a Class Member, you may, but are not required to, speak at the Fairness Hearing about any Objection you filed to the Settlement. If you intend to speak at the Fairness Hearing, you must also submit a “Notice of Intention to Appear” to the Court and the parties’ attorneys, indicating your intent to do so.
Hearing Date: February 9, 2015 at 8:30 a.m.
REQUEST PERMISSION TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES If you are a Class Member and you would like to be eligible to return to the United States (subject to certain restrictions), you must complete a form demonstrating your status as a Class Member. To Be Determined.

If the Court grants final approval and there are no appeals of the order, it is presently anticipated that the application period will run from June 9, 2015 to December 6, 2015.

Please check this website for further updates as to the timing of the application period

These rights and options—and the deadlines to exercise them—are explained in more detail in the FAQ section of this website.

The Court in charge of this Action has preliminarily approved the Settlement and must decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement. The relief provided to Class Members will be provided only if the Court gives final approval to the Settlement at the Fairness Hearing described below and, if there are any appeals, after the appeals are resolved in favor of the Settlement. Please be patient.