Landmark Ruling Granted to Malaysian Woman in No-Fly Case

Plaintiff, Litigation

Landmark Ruling in No-Fly Case

McManis Faulkner represented the client in a case against the federal government and the City and County of San Francisco regarding the wrongful placement of her name on the No-Fly List and wrongful arrest. The client is a professor, officer of the Malaysian government and a Muslim. In 2005, she was a Stanford Ph.D. student who was studying in the U.S. on a student visa. 

On January 2, 2005, the client arrived at the San Francisco airport with her 14 year-old daughter to board a flight to Malaysia. She was told that she was on the No-Fly List and arrested without probable cause by the San Francisco police. Two hours after her arrest, she was released and was told that she could board a flight to Malaysia the next day. However, her visa was later revoked, and she has not been allowed to return to the U.S. since.  McManis Faulkner represented the client in a federal action to remove her name from any terror watch lists and for monetary damages for her wrongful arrest. The firm obtained a landmark ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the client had a right to pursue her action for removal of her name from any watch lists in federal district court. 

After returning to the Northern District Court, McManis Faulkner obtained another landmark decision, allowing the client to obtain substantial discovery from the defendants into the reason for her arrest, communications between local and federal government surrounding her false arrest, and overruling defendants’ objections that this information is privileged or should not be disclosed as sensitive security information. After this sweeping win, the client obtained a $250,000 settlement for her false and unlawful arrest with the City and County of San Francisco and U.S. Investigations Services, Inc., whose employee ordered her arrest. Having been vindicated for her unlawful arrest, the client now pursues her claims against the federal government for the removal of her name from the No-Fly List.