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Al Shimari v. CACI et al.

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Synopsis

Al Shimari  v. CACI is a federal lawsuit  brought by four Iraqi torture victims against private US-based contractor CACI International Inc., and CACI Premier Technology, Inc.  It asserts that CACI  participated directly and through a conspiracy in war crimes, including torture, and other illegal conduct while it was providing interrogation services at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

 

Democracy Now! interview of Al Shimari plaintiff, Salah Hassan Al-Ejaili, in April 2014: Imprisoned Al Jazeera Journalist Details Abu Ghraib Torture & Why He’s Suing U.S. Contractor CACI

BBC Witness interview with Salah Hassan and Ali Shallal Abbas from July, 2014. Listen on bbc.co.uk

Status

Plaintiffs' Notice of Appeal was filed with the Fourth Circuit on July 24, 2013. Plaintiffs' Opening Appeal Brief was filed on October, 29th and CACI filed its brief on December 2, 2013. Plaintiffs reply brief was filed on December 16, 2013. Oral argument before a panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (Judges Keenan, Floyd and Cogburn) was heard on March 18, 2014.

On July 30, 2014, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the district court’s judgment and remanded all the plaintiffs’ claims for further proceedings.

*******

CACI’s motion to dismiss was denied in part on March 18, 2009. 

On September 21, 2011, in a 2-1 decision, a majority of the Fourth Circuit reversed the district court, and ruled that the case should be dismissed.  Judges Paul V. Niemeyer and Dennis W. Shedd were in the majority, with Judge Robert B. King writing a dissent in which he found that the court lacked jurisdiction over the appeal, and that the state law claims could not be preempted.  On October 5, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a petition for rehearing en banc and Defendants filed a response. On November 8, 2011, the Fourth Circuit issued an order granting the petition for rehearing en banc.

CACI filed their en banc opening brief on November 29. Plaintiffs filed their opposition brief on December 19, 2011,and amicus briefs supporting Plaintiffs-Appellees were filed on December 20. CACI filed their reply brief on December 27, 2011.

Oral argument before the en banc panel took place on January 27, 2011. To listen to the oral argument, click here.

On May 11, 2012, the en banc panel, in an 11-3 decision, issued an order dismissing the appeal and remanding the case to the district court.

Plaintiffs filed a motion to reinstate the ATS claims in the case on October 11, 2012. At a hearing held on November 1, 2012, the district court granted the motion and reinstated the ATS claims of war crimes, torture, and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

Plaintiffs' expert reports were disclosed on February 1, 2013.

A hearing on CACI's motion to dismiss conspiracy claims, and CACI International, was heard March 8, 2013. Judge Lee granted CACI's motion to dismiss CACI International, Inc., and granted CACI Premier Technology's motion to dismiss conspiracy claims without prejudice.

On April 4, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a Third Amended Complaint.

On April 12, 2013, the Court heard CACI’s motion to dismiss the three Baghdad based plaintiffs on the grounds that they failed to appear for their depositions; those Plaintiffs had been granted visas to travel to the U.S. in February, but were prevented for unknown reasons from boarding their flight to the U.S. The Court denied CACI’s motion to dismiss the Baghdad Plaintiffs.

On April 24, 2013, CACI filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' Alien Tort Statute claims (war crimes, torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment) on the basis of the Supreme Court's recent decision in Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum.  Plaintiffs' response was filed on Friday, May 3, 2013.

On May 10, 2013, the Court heard CACI’s motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ Alien Tort Statute claims in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum Co, as well as to dismiss three of the Plaintiffs' common law claims.

On June 26, 2013, Judge Lee dismissed Plaintiffs' case, finding that the Alien Tort Statute could not apply to violations occuring outside the United States, and that the remaining common law claims were barred because Iraqi law applied.

Plaintiffs filed their appeal brief on October 29th, with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Amicus briefs were filed in support of the Plaintiffs on November 5th. On December 2, CACI filed its appeal brief, to which Plaintiffs filed a reply on December 16th.

On July 30, 2014, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion vacating the district court’s judgment and remanded all the plaintiffs’ claims for further proceedings.

 

Description

Al Shimari  v. CACI was originally brought against L-3 Services Incorporated (formerly Titan Corporation), CACI International Inc., and Timothy Dugan, a former employee of CACI.  CACI and L-3 Services were the U.S. government contractors responsible for interrogation and translation services, respectively, at Abu Ghraib prison and other facilities in Iraq. L-3 Services and Timothy Dugan have since been dismissed as Defendants in the case. The complaint alleges that CACI directed and participated in illegal conduct, including torture, at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq where it was hired by the U.S. to provide interrogation services.   The four Plaintiffs had all been held at the “hard site” in Abu Ghraib prison.

The suit, brought under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and federal question jurisdiction, brings claims arising from violations of U.S. and international law including torture; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; war crimes; assault and battery; sexual assault and battery; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent hiring and supervision; and negligent infliction of emotional distress. There are also civil conspiracy and aiding and abetting counts attached to most of these charges.  Through this action, Plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages.

Among the heinous acts to which the four Plaintiffs were subjected at the hands of the Defendant and certain government co-conspirators were: electric shocks; repeated brutal beatings; sleep deprivation; sensory deprivation; forced nudity; stress positions; sexual assault; mock executions; humiliation; hooding; isolated detention; and prolonged hanging from the limbs.

All of the Plaintiffs are innocent Iraqis who were ultimately released without ever being charged with a crime. They all continue to suffer from physical and mental injuries caused by the torture and other abuse.  Suhail Najim Abdullah Al Shimari was detained from 2003 until 2008, during which he was held at Abu Ghraib “hard site” for about two months.  While he was there, CACI and its co-conspirators tortured him in various ways.  He was subjected to electric shocks, deprived of food, threatened by dogs, and kept naked while forced to engage in physical activities to the point of exhaustion.  Taha Yaseen Arraq Rashid was detained from 2003 until 2005, during which he was imprisoned at Abu Ghraib “hard site” for about three months.  While detained there, CACI and its co-conspirators tortured Mr. Rashid by placing him in stress positions for extended periods of time, humiliating him, depriving him of oxygen, food, and water, shooting him in the head with a taser gun, and by beating him so severely that he suffered from broken limbs and vision loss.  Mr. Rashid was forcibly subjected to sexual acts by a female as he was cuffed and shackled to cell bars.  He was also forced to witness the rape of a female prisoner. Sa’ad Hamza Hantoosh Al-Zuba’e was imprisoned at Abu Ghraib from 2003 until 2004. CACI and its co-conspirators tortured him while he was detained there by subjecting him to extremely hot and cold water, beating his genitals with a stick, and detaining him in a solitary cell in conditions of sensory deprivation for almost a full year.  Salah Hasan Nusaif Jasim Al-Ejaili was imprisoned at the Abu Ghraib “hard site” for approximately four months.  While he was there, CACI and its co-conspirators stripped him and kept him naked, threatened him with dogs, deprived him of food, beat him, and kept him in a solitary cell in conditions of sensory deprivation.

 

Timeline

June 30, 2008: Plaintiffs filed a complaint against Timothy Dugan, CACI International, Inc., CACI Premier Technology, Inc., and L-3 Services, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for Ohio, Southern District, Eastern Division.

August 7 and 8, 2008: Defendants’ motion to change venue granted and the case was transferred to the Eastern District of Virginia.

August 20, 2008: Plaintiffs’ claims against L-3 Services dismissed without prejudice.

September 12, 2008: Plaintiffs’ claims against Timothy Dugan dismissed without prejudice.

September 15, 2008: Plaintiffs filed Amended Complaint. 

October 2, 2008: Defendants filed motion to dismiss Amended Complaint.

October 10, 2008: Defendants filed motion for partial summary judgment based on statute of limitations. 

October 16, 2008:  Plaintiffs filed their opposition to Defendant’s motion to dismiss the amended complaint.

October 21, 2008: Plaintiffs filed their opposition to Defendant’s motion for partial summary judgment.

On October 22, 2008, Defendants filed reply to response to motion to dismiss amended complaint.

October 24, 2008: Hearing held before District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee regarding motion to dismiss amended complaint.

October 24, 2008: Defendants filed reply to response to motion for partial summary judgment.

October 27, 2008: Plaintiffs file motion for leave to file memorandum rebutting CACI’s factual misrepresentations.

October 29, 2008: Defendants filed memorandum in opposition to Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file memorandum rebutting CACI’s factual representations.

November 3, 2008: Plaintiffs filed reply to response to motion for leave to file memorandum rebutting CACI’s factual representations.

November 25, 2008: Order denying Defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment.

December 19, 2008, Defendants filed motion for leave to file supplemental memorandum based on Senate Armed Services Committee Report in support of motion to dismiss amended complaint.

January 2, 2009: Plaintiffs filed response to Defendant’s motion for leave to file supplemental memorandum in support of motion to dismiss amended complaint.

January 8, 2009: Defendants filed response to reply to Defendant’s motion for leave to file supplemental memorandum in support of motion to dismiss amended complaint.

January 14, 2009: Order granted Defendant’s motion for leave to file supplemental memorandum in support of motion to dismiss amended complaint.

January 21, 2009: Order granted Plaintiff’s motion for leave to rebut defendant’s factual misrepresentations.

March 18, 2009: Order denying Defendants' motion to dismiss, in part.

April 30, 2009: Order filed suspending briefing schedule copies to all parties.

November 16, 2009: Order deferring action on motion to dismiss appeal; order on briefing schedule.

November 30, 2009: Plaintiffs' notice of cross-appeal.

December 2, 2009: Revised appellate briefing schedule issued; order consolidating case 09-2324 with 09-1335; and briefing order on Cross-Appeal schedule. Plaintiffs' notice of cross-appeal.

December 7, 2009: CACI's motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' cross-appeal.

February 23, 2010: Order granting CACI's motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' cross-appeal; and briefing order scheduling the filing of Defendants’ opening brief on April 5, 2010 and Plaintiffs’ response brief on May 7, 2010.

April 5, 2010: Defendants' opening brief filed in the Fourth Circuit.

May 2010: KBR seeks leave to file an amicus brief; leave is granted.

June 14, 2010: Plaintiffs' filed a response to Defendants' brief.

July 1, 2010: Defendants' reply brief filed.

October 26, 2010: Oral argument was heard by a panel of the Fourth Circuit.

March 11, 2011: The Fourth Circuit ordered that the case be held in abeyance pending decision on the petition for certiorari filed in Saleh v Titan with the Supreme Court.

September 21, 2011: In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the Fourth Circuit reversed the district court and ordered the case be dismissed.

October 5, 2011: Plaintiffs file a petition for rehearing en banc.

October 6, 2011: The Fourth Circuit requested that Defendants respond to Plaintiffs’ petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc by October 17, 2011.

October 17, 2011: Defendants filed their response to Plaintiffs' petition for rehearing en banc.

November 8, 2011: The Fourth Circuit issued an order granting the petition for rehearing en banc.

 November 15, 2011: The Fourt Circuit invited the United States to file an amicus in this case before December 30, 2011.

November 29, 2011: CACI filed its en banc Opening Brief.

December 19. 2011: Plaintiffs filed their en banc Opposition Brief.

December 20, 2011: Retired Army Military Officers, Professors of Civil Procedure and Federal Courts, and International Human Rights organizations and experts filed amicus briefs in support of Plaintiffs-Appellees and affirmance of the district court decision.

December 27, 2011: CACI filed its en banc reply brief.

January 14, 2012: U.S. amicus brief filed.

January 20, 2012: CACI filed its response to the US amicus brief.

January 24, 2012: Plaintiffs filed their response to the US amicus brief.

January 27, 2012: Oral argument before the Fourth Circuit en banc panel. To listen to the oral argument, click here.

May 11, 2012: En banc panel dismissed the appeal and remanded the case to district court.

October 11, 2012: Plaintiffs filed a motion to seek reinstatement of the ATS claims. 

October 25, 2012: Defendants filed an opposition to the motion to seek reinstatement of the ATS claims.

October 30, 2012: Plaintiffs filed their reply in support of their motion.

November 1, 2012: At the motion hearing, Judge Lee reinstated Alien Tort Statute claims of war crimes, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.  

November 20, 2012: Plaintiffs' filed their opposition to Defendants' motion for reconsideration of the Court's order denying partial summary judgement based on statute of limitations.

November 26, 2012: Defendants filed a reply in support of their motion for reconsideration.

December 26, 2012: Plaintiffs' second amended complaint filed.

January 14, 3013: Defendants CACI Premier Technology and CACI International file motions to dismiss the conspiracy claims in Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint, as well as Defendant CACI International.

March 8, 2013: Defendants' motion to dismiss CACI International, Inc., granted, and CACI Premier Technology's motion to dismiss conspiracy claims granted without prejudice. 

April 4, 2013: Plaintiffs filed redacted Third Amended Complaint.

April 24, 2013: CACI filed for reconsideration to dismiss the Alien Tort Statute claims.

May 3, 2013: Plaintiffs filed their opposition to motion to dismiss Alien Tort Statute claims.

 May 3,2013: Plaintiffs filed their opposition to CACI's motion to dismiss conspiracy claims.

May 6, 2013: Plaintiffs filed their opposition to CACI's motion for sanctions on the grounds that Plaintiffs have not appeared for their depositions in the US.

May 8,2013: CACI filed its reply regarding dismissal of the ATS claims.

May 10, 2013: Hearing on motion to dismiss ATS claims in light of Kiobel.

June 26, 2013: Decision dismissing Plaintiffs' ATS and common law claims, thereby dismissing the case.

August 2, 2013: Defendants filed a Bill of Costs, seeking payment of $15,580 from Plaintiffs.

August 12, 2013:  Plaintiffs filed their opposition to CACI's Bill of Costs.

August 30, 2013: Defendants motion for Bill of Costs was granted, with Plaintiffs ordered to pay $ 13,731.61.

October 29, 2013: Plaintiffs filed their opening appeal brief.

November 5, 2013: Amicus briefs were filed in support of Plaintiffs.

December 2, 2013: CACI's appeal brief filed.

December 16, 2013: Plaintiffs reply brief filed.

March 18, 2014: Oral argument heard before Judges Keenan, Floyd and Cogburn in Richmond, Virginia.

June 30, 2014: the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion vacating the district court’s judgment and remanded all the plaintiffs’ claims for further proceedings.

Attached Files