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Puente Arizona v. Arpaio

United States District Court, D. Arizona

December 1, 2014

Puente Arizona, Plaintiff,
v.
Joseph M. Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, in his official capacity, et al., Defendants

For Puente Arizona, Susan E Frederick-Gray, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Sara Cervantes Arreola, Guadalupe Arredondo, Plaintiffs: Anne Lai, LEAD ATTORNEY, Sameer M Ashar, University of California Irvine School of Law Immigrants Rights Clinic, Irvine, CA; Daniel Joseph Pochoda, LEAD ATTORNEY, ACLU - Phoenix, AZ, Phoenix, AZ; Jessica Karp Bansal, LEAD ATTORNEY, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Los Angeles, CA; Ray Anthony Ybarra Maldonado, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of Ray A Ybarra Maldonado PLC, Phoenix, AZ.

For Joseph M Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County Arizona, in his official capacity, Defendant: Ann Thompson Uglietta, LEAD ATTORNEY, Maricopa County Attorneys Office - Civil Services Division, Phoenix, AZ; Michele Marie Iafrate, LEAD ATTORNEY, Iafrate & Associates, Phoenix, AZ.

For Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney, in his official capacity, County of Maricopa, State of Arizona, Defendants: Douglas L Irish, LEAD ATTORNEY, Maricopa County Attorneys Office - Div. of County Counsel, Phoenix, AZ; J Kenneth Mangum, LEAD ATTORNEY, Maricopa County Attorney's Office -Phoenix (Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ; Thomas P Liddy, Ann Thompson Uglietta, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Maricopa County Attorneys Office - Civil Services Division, Phoenix, AZ.

For State of Arizona, Defendant: G Michael Tryon, LEAD ATTORNEY, Office of the Attorney General, Civil Division, Phoenix, Az; Stephanie Susan Elliott, LEAD ATTORNEY, Office of the Attorney General, Phoenix, AZ.

ORDER

David G. Campbell, United States District Judge.

In addressing the pending motion for preliminary injunction and motions to dismiss, the Court has identified two issues that require further input from the parties.

A. Proof of Standing.

To establish associational standing, Puente Arizona must show that at least one of its members would have standing to sue in his or her own right. Puente has attempted to do this with the affidavits of Carlos Garcia. Garcia asserts that he knows of Puente members who are violating the identity theft laws and face a credible threat of prosecution.

In Summers v. Earth Island Inst., 555 U.S. 488, 129 S.Ct. 1142, 173 L.Ed.2d 1 (2009), certain organizations argued that environmental regulations injured their members' recreational interests. The Court found that the organizations had failed to identify or name a single member whose recreational interests would be harmed by the regulations. The organizations therefore did not have standing. The Court provided this explanation:

The dissent proposes a hitherto unheard-of test for organizational standing: whether, accepting the organization's self-description of the activities of its members, there is a statistical probability that some of those members are threatened with concrete injury. . . . This novel approach to the law of organizational standing would make a mockery of our prior cases, which have required plaintiff-organizations to make specific allegations establishing that at least one identified member had suffered or would suffer harm. . . . [In a previous case, ] we noted that the affidavit provided by the city to establish standing would be insufficient because it did not name the individuals who were harmed by the challenged license-revocation program. This requirement of naming the affected members has never been dispensed with in light of statistical probabilities, but only where all the members of the organization are affected by the challenged activity.
A major problem with the dissent's approach is that it accepts the organizations' self-descriptions of their membership, on the simple ground that " no one denies" them. But it is well established that the court has an independent obligation to assure that standing exists, regardless of whether it is challenged by any of the parties.

Id. at 497-99 (citations omitted). Summers appear to require that an organization seeking standing provide specific factual information regarding concrete injury to one or more of its members. The Garcia declarations do not provide such detail.

Two months after Summers, the Ninth Circuit decided White Tanks Concerned Citizens, Inc. v. Strock, 563 F.3d 1033 (9th Cir. 2009). The case involved an organization asserting associational standing to challenge environmental regulations. The organization submitted an affidavit by its director, Beneli. " The affidavit explains the purpose and history of the organization, but does not spell out the interests that Beneli personally had in the area to be developed as Festival Ranch. Instead, the affidavit states that members of WTCC regularly use the area, planned as Festival Ranch, for recreational purposes." Id. at 1038. The court did not address whether the affidavit identified or named the individual members who would be affected by the regulations. The court simply found that the organization had " ...


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