Stoel Rives Attorney Helps Achieve Landmark Class-Action Settlement to Speed Up Citizenship Decisions
Kathleen Sebastian, Marketing Manager, (206) 386-7513
SEATTLE- Rita V. Latsinova
, trial lawyer and principal in the Seattle office of Stoel Rives LLP, led a team of cooperating attorneys to obtain a settlement agreement with the federal government in a landmark class action concerning applications for U.S. citizenship.
The case, Roshandel, et al. v. Chertoff, et al., challenged the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) delays in processing the naturalization applications of hundreds of legal permanent residents in the Western District of Washington. Under the terms of the settlement, which came after the first decision granting class certification in a naturalization delay case, more than 450 legal permanent residents will have their citizenship applications adjudicated by October 18, 2008. In addition to Latsinova, the legal team included Al Day of the Boston office of Ropes and Gray LLP (formerly of the Seattle office of Stoel Rives), Sarah Dunne of ACLU of Washington, and Matt Adams and Christopher Strawn of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.
The case was filed in October 2007 on behalf of four legal permanent residents who had waited years for a government decision on their citizenship requests. In April 2008, Judge Marsha Pechman certified the suit as a class action to cover others affected by the government's inaction, and the class grew to more than 450 legal permanent residents.
"Under the terms of the settlement, the government has agreed to complete the citizenship process for these individuals in time for them to register to vote in the November general election," Latsinova said. "After a long and uncertain wait, these legal and permanent residents of Washington will finally be able to participate fully in civic life."
About Stoel Rives LLP: Stoel Rives is a business law firm providing counseling and litigation services to a wide range of clients throughout the United States. The firm has more than 350 attorneys operating out of 11 offices in seven states. Stoel Rives is regarded as a leader in energy, natural resources, environmental, litigation, corporate and intellectual property law. For more information, visit www.stoel.com.