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Immigration Law

Calixto Updates: NOTICE OF PROPOSED CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND FAIRNESS HEARING

MAVNI Class Action Litigation

IMPORTANT TIME-SENSITIVE NOTICE REGARDING Calixto, et al. v. United States Department of the Army, et al., Civil Action No. 18-1551  

NOTICE OF PROPOSED CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND FAIRNESS HEARING

Per the Court’s September 10, 2022 Order (attached as Calixto Docket 254), there will be a fairness hearing before United States District Judge Paul L. Friedman on September 21, 2022, at 10:00 A.M. in Courtroom 29 of the William B. Bryant Annex to the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington, D.C. concerning the parties’ Joint Motion for Certification of Class, Appointment of Class Counsel, and Approval of Settlement Agreement (attached as Calixto Docket 253) and the proposed Settlement Agreement and U.S. Army Certification (attached as Calixto Docket 253-1).

On or before September 19, 2022, at 11:59 P.M., any class member who wishes to object to the proposed settlement shall send his or her objection(s) to class counsel via the email address jennifer.wollenberg@morganlewis.com with the subject line “Objection to Proposed Class Action Settlement.”  A class member’s objection shall describe: (1) the reasoning underlying the objection; (2) whether the objecting class member wishes to be heard at the fairness hearing, either in person or virtually; and (3) if so, whether the objecting class member has any evidence that he or she wishes to present at the fairness hearing or would like the Court to consider.  Virtual attendance at the fairness hearing will be permitted only for those class members who have timely submitted their objections to class counsel in writing per the instructions above and indicated that they wish to attend the fairness hearing virtually. 

Important Update:  Please note that on September 7, 2022, the parties to Calixto, et al. v. United States Department of the Army, et al., Civil Action No. 18-1551, jointly requested that the Court certify the proposed class of MAVNI soldiers, appoint class counsel, and approve the parties’ settlement agreement. The payment of attorneys’ fees to Plaintiffs’ counsel is described in Paragraph 6 of the Settlement Agreement, which can be viewed through this link:  Calixto Docket 253.  In that filing, the parties seek certification of the following class:

All soldiers who enlisted in the U.S. Army (including Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve/Delayed Training Program (“DTP”) and Regular Army/Delayed Entry Program (“DEP”) soldiers) through the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (“MAVNI”) program, and did so on or prior to September 30, 2017, and either:

    • have not been discharged, or
    • have been discharged by the U.S. Army (including the U.S. Army Recruiting Command and/or the U.S. Army Reserve Command, collectively, the “Army”), where such discharge or separation was not characterized as Honorable, General (under honorable conditions), Under Other Than Honorable Conditions, Bad Conduct, or Dishonorable.

As described in the filing, for the hundreds of soldiers enlisted in the U.S. Army through the MAVNI program on or before September 30, 2017 who already have received an “uncharacterized” discharge or have not been discharged from service and who face potential naturalization-related challenges, the U.S. Army certifications and other relief provided in the settlement agreement are intended to resolve those challenges.  For each named Plaintiff and putative class member who has not yet been able to apply for or obtain naturalization based on military service, the settlement agreement provides the necessary U.S. Army certifications of the soldier having served honorably and, if discharged, having been discharged under honorable conditions.  The settlement agreement removes the last known military service-related impediments to naturalization for MAVNI soldiers and for already-naturalized MAVNI soldiers will remove any risk of de-naturalization based on the nature of their U.S. Army service or any past or future “uncharacterized” discharge.  The releases that named Plaintiffs and the putative class would provide relate only to naturalization-related claims for which they are receiving relief because named Plaintiffs and putative class members release and dismiss with prejudice all naturalization-related claims in this action and that could have been brought in this action but specifically reserve and dismiss without prejudice any rights concerning their U.S. Army service that are independent of their rights to naturalization.

... The Court has not yet certified Calixto, et al. v. United States Department of the Army, et al., Civil Action No. 18-1551 as a class action.  Therefore, MAVNIs, other than those specifically named in the Calixto complaint, are not plaintiffs or parties to the Calixto action and are not yet represented as class members by Morgan Lewis in that case or with respect to the issues raised in that case."