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USCIS, Nov. 30, 2021
"Notice of Final Class Action Settlement in A.O. et al. v Jaddou, et al., No. 19-cv-6151 (N.D. Cal)
This webpage is intended to notify you of the final class settlement in A.O. et al. v Jaddou, et al., No. 19-cv-6151 (N.D. Cal). For more details, you may access the final settlement agreement (PDF, 2.04 MB).
Notice of Final Settlement for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) petitioners with CaliforniaJuvenile Court Dependency Orders
A.O., et al v. Jaddou, et al., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Case No. 19-cv-6151-SVK
TO: California children who have been declared dependent on a juvenile court under Section 300 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code and who have received or will receive denials of their SIJ petitions on the grounds that the state court cannot reunify them with their parents.
There are two types of Class Members: Existing Class Members and Future Class Members.
You are an Existing Class Member if (Scenario #1):
a. has not been adjudicated; or
b. has been issued a Request For Evidence (RFE), Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) or Notice of Intent to Revoke (NOIR) where at least one of the grounds in the NOID, RFE, or NOIR was that the California Juvenile Court that issued the SIJ Findings accompanying the dependency order lacked jurisdiction to make a qualifying determination that you could not be reunified with your parent(s) because it did not have the authority to reunify you with that parent (the “Reunification Authority Requirement”); or
c. you received a denial or a revocation of your SIJ petition based on the Reunification Authority Requirement.
You are also an Existing Class Member if (Scenario #2):
You are a Future Class Member if:
You do not need to live in California to benefit under the Settlement.
You are hereby notified that on November 29, 2021 the Honorable Susan Van Keulen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California approved a settlement of the claims brought on your behalf in this lawsuit.
Background: This class action lawsuit alleged that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) acted contrary to law by imposing a new requirement for SIJ eligibility that required the California Juvenile Court to have the authority to reunify SIJ petitioners with their parent(s) in order to make a qualifying determination that reunification with that parent(s) was not viable under the SIJ statute, and then denied SIJ petitions on that basis for petitioners over the age of 18. The Parties later reached a settlement. The Plaintiffs are represented by Milbank LLP and the Southwestern School of Law Immigration Clinic (collectively, “Class Counsel”).
Description of Settlement Agreement (Agreement): The following description is only a summary of the key points in the Agreement. Information on how to obtain a copy of the full Agreement is provided after this summary.
(1) For any Existing Class Member who has already received an RFE, NOID, NOIR, denial, or revocation of their SIJ petition (collectively, “Negative Action Notice”), USCIS shall not issue any new Negative Action Notice for any ground that could have been but was not previously raised in the earlier Negative Action Notice.
(2) Existing Class Members’ SIJ petitions with Negative Action Notices based solely on the Reunification Authority Requirement will be adjudicated in accordance with the Agreement and will be favorably adjudicated, if otherwise approvable.
(3) USCIS may issue Negative Action Notices based on changes to factual circumstances that occurred after the date of the previously issued Negative Action Notice. USCIS will not issue any general RFEs asking that an Existing Class Member affirmatively identify any change in circumstance.
(4) If any Existing Class Member’s SIJ petition was denied because the petitioner failed to respond to an RFE, NOID, or NOIR issued based in whole or in part on the Reunification-Authority Requirement, the petition will be reopened and readjudicated in accordance with the Agreement.
(5) For any Existing Class Member whose SIJ petition remains pending without any action, USCIS shall adjudicate the petition in accordance with the law and the Agreement.
(6) USCIS shall not issue a Notice to Appear to any Existing Class Member whose SIJ petition was denied solely because of the Reunification Authority Requirement until USCIS has fully re-adjudicated the SIJ petition.
For Further Information: You should read the entire Agreement to understand it fully. Copies of the Agreement may be obtained: (1) from the USCIS website (www.uscis.gov); (2) from Class Counsels’ website https://www.milbank.com/en/casijclassaction.html; (3) by contacting Class Counsel at CASIJClassAction@milbank.com or 212-530-5000; (4) by accessing the Court docket in this case, for a fee, at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov; or (5) by visiting the Clerk of Court for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, business days from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m."
¹ USCIS represents that it is no longer applying the Reunification Authority Requirement and has agreed not to reinstate it for Class Members as part of the Settlement.