Khalid v. Garland et al., No. 1:21-cv-02307-CRC (D.D.C., filed Aug. 31, 2021)
Plaintiff Saad Bin Khalid brought this action for declaratory and injunctive relief against various federal agencies, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), claiming that the U.S. government has wrongfully placed him on its “No Fly List” which indefinitely bars him from flying to, from, or within the United States.
Mr. Khalid is a 27-year-old U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent. He was first designated by the U.S. government as a “known or suspected terrorist” in 2012, when he was still a minor. As a result, Mr. Khalid has been subject to multiple interrogations and intrusive searches by CBP and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers. He learned that he had been placed on the No Fly List in 2019, when he tried to return to the U.S. from Karachi, Pakistan, but was prohibited from boarding his flight. He has been unable to return to the U.S.—his home country—for nearly two years due to his placement on the No Fly List. Mr. Khalid claims that the U.S. government has failed to provide any reason or justification for placing him on the list, or a fair process for challenging that placement.
The complaint alleges violations of Mr. Khalid’s rights under the Fifth Amendment (substantive and procedural due process), the First Amendment (retaliation for refusing to acquiesce to interrogations), the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (burden on his exercise of religion), and the Administrative Procedure Act. Mr. Khalid seeks a declaratory judgment that Defendants have violated his rights, as well as an injunction which, among other things, requires Defendants to remove Mr. Khalid from any watchlist or database that burdens his ability to enter the United States.
In January 2022, Defendants moved to suspend the complaint response deadline, which Plaintiff opposed. On February 2, 2022, the court granted Defendants a 90-day stay of proceedings. On May 5, 2022, the stay was lifted, and Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on June 29, 2022. Defendants moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction on July 13, 2022. Plaintiff moved for a preliminary injunction on September 13, 2022, which was denied on October 7, 2022.
On March 16, 2023, the court granted in part and denied in part the motion to dismiss. The court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction Plaintiff’s challenge to the TSA Administrator’s decision to place him on the No Fly List, finding that such a claim must be brought in a circuit court of appeals under 49 U.S.C. § 46110. The court held that it had jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s challenge to his placement on the broader terrorism watch list.
On April 5, 2023, Plaintiff filed a motion asking the court to certify its order for interlocutory review. In the alternative, Plaintiff asked the court to transfer his No Fly List claims to the D.C. Circuit to avoid the 60-day deadline in 49 U.S.C. § 46110. Briefing on Plaintiff’s motion was completed on April 28, 2023, and he is awaiting a decision from the court.
- Amended Complaint
- Motion for Preliminary Injunction
- Order on Motion for Preliminary Injunction
- Order on Motion to Dismiss
- Plaintiff’s Motion to Certify for Interlocutory Appeal
- Defendant’s Opposition to Certification
- Plaintiff’s Reply in Support of Certification
Counsel: Council on American-Islamic Relations
Contact: Gadeir Abbas | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202-742-6420.