Wilwal v. Kelly

On July 13, 2017, the ACLU, the ACLU of Minnesota, and Robins Kaplan LLP brought suit on behalf of the Wilwal-Abdigani family, a family of 6 American citizens who were detained at a North Dakota port of entry for over ten hours when crossing back into the United States from Canada. When the family arrived at the border, CBP agents drew their weapons and handcuffed Abdisalam Wilwal, allegedly because his name appeared on a terrorism-related watchlist, something with Mr. Wilwal believes was a wrongful placement. He was questioned for hours and ended up fainting while in custody due to the placement of his handcuffs. Agents allegedly questioned him for being a Muslim and demanded to know if he was involved with terrorism. When Mr. Wilwal’s teenage son called 911 and reported that he was being held against his will, CBP agents confiscated his phone and strip-searched him.

Mr. Wilwal and his family brought suit against CBP seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for violations of his constitutional rights, including the right against search and seizure and his right to due process because of his placement on a terrorism watchlist without any opportunity to challenge that placement. On October 12, 2017, the plaintiffs amended the complaint to add claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act for false imprisonment, assault, and battery. On November 8, 2017, the government moved to dismiss the case. Briefing was completed on the motion to dismiss on January 24, 2018.

As of February 2018, a decision on the Motion to Dismiss is still pending.


Edwards v. United States of America

Edwards v. United States of America, No. 0:13-cv-02336-JRT-JJK (D. Minn., filed Aug. 26, 2013)

Adijat Edwards arrived at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport from Nigeria.  U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents detained her upon arrival.  The officers confiscated $4,000 worth of her jewelry and, days later, forced her to withdraw $1,200 in cash using her bank card.  The officers told Ms. Edwards that the money was necessary to pay for her return flight to Nigeria as part of expedited removal proceedings.

Edwards later sued the United States for the torts of conversion and negligence committed by the CBP officers.  The United States filed a motion to dismiss, which Edwards opposed.  The district court held granted the motion in most respects, but allowed the claim for conversion of property to move forward.  Following the court’s decision, the parties reached a settlement and stipulated to dismissing the case. The district court granted the dismissal.

Counsel: Richard L. Breitman | (612) 822-4724 | breitman@ix.netcom.co