The New York Civil Liberties Union works in the courts as a public-interest law firm, bringing constitutional test cases in state and federal court. The NYCLU's legal program balances enforcement litigation, or cases that enforce previously established standards, and cutting-edge test case litigation, or cases that seek to set new standards. While litigation alone does not represent a complete strategy to preserve and enhance civil liberties, the lawsuits pursued by the NYCLU are important because of the particular wrongs they right, the individuals and groups they protect, and the constitutional doctrines they establish. Our litigation complements our proactive program of public education and advocacy.



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Martinez v. Nielsen

The New York Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of New Jersey sought and obtained an emergency stay of deportation for a father of two who was unconstitutionally taken into federal custody by immigration enforcement agents when he and his wife, a U.S.
June 22, 2018

NYIC v. Dept. of Commerce

On June 6, 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union, New York Civil Liberties Union, and Arnold & Porter filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of immigrants’ rights groups challenging the Trump administration’s plan to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census. 
June 6, 2018 Immigrants' Rights

Sajous v. Decker, et al.

The New York Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union and Brooklyn Defender Services filed a federal class action lawsuit on April 5, 2018 challenging the cessation of bond hearings for immigrant detainees and the Trump administration's indefinite detention of immigrants.

April 5, 2018 Immigrants' Rights


The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a class action lawsuit against the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) for trapping immigrant children in prolonged detention.
February 22, 2018 Immigrants' Rights

People ex rel. Wells on behalf of Francis v. DeMarco

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed suit on December 11, 2017 against the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, arguing that it lacks authority under state law to honor detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

January 3, 2018

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