DOJ Lifts Order Recusing Immigration Judge from Hearing Cases Involving Iranian Nationals

  • Agrees to Undertake Policy Review and Pay $200,000

San Diego – November 3, 2015 – Cooley announced today the resolution of a suit against the Department of Justice ("DOJ") on behalf of sitting Immigration Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor. The lawsuit challenged an order imposed by the DOJ recusing Judge Tabaddor indefinitely from all cases involving Iranian nationals.

Tabaddor v. Holder et al., filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, asserts that the DOJ ordered the blanket disqualification in a racially discriminatory fashion, based on Judge Tabaddor's national heritage and association with the Iranian-American community, including her speaking, educational and volunteer activities within that community.

Pursuant to the settlement, the DOJ has agreed to lift the order, undertake to review its policies, and pay $200,000. "We are proud and honored to have represented Judge Tabaddor and to have achieved this resolution," said Cooley Partner Ali Mojdehi. "In our view, this resolution completely vindicates the time honored principles which our client had sworn to uphold. We express gratitude to Magistrate Judge Gandhi who guided the parties in the discussions which resulted in this settlement. We also thank the numerous organizations and individuals who have rejected silence and have voiced their support in pleadings or otherwise in favor of our client. Finally, we are also pleased the DOJ came to terms on this matter."

In addition to Mojdehi, the Cooley team included Janet Gertz, Allison Rego, Erin Trenda, and Jon Cieslak. 

For more information on this case, visit Cooley's Tabaddor resource page.

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Erin Trenda Partner, San Diego