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Zivotofsky vs. The Secretary of State



No. 03-CV-


by his parents and guardians,
HaShoshan 10-A
Nofei Aviv
Beit Shemesh, Israel 99590



United States Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520



          1. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1346(a)(2), and 1361. It seeks the enforcement of Section 214(d) of P.L. 107-228 with an injunction to compel officers of the United States to perform a duty owed to the plaintiff and a declaratory judgment pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201. Venue is proper in this District under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(e).

          2. The plaintiff was born on October 17, 2002, in the City of Jerusalem at Shaare Zedek Hospital.

          3. The plaintiff's parents and “legal guardians” are Ari Z. Zivotofsky and Naomi Siegman Zivotofsky.

          4. Both of the plaintiff's parents are native-born citizens of the United States. Ari Z. Zivotofsky was born on September 23, 1963, in Brooklyn, NY. Naomi Siegman Zivotofsky was born on June 18, 1965, in Philadelphia, PA.

          5. By reason of the United States citizenship of both of his parents, plaintiff was a citizen of the United States at birth pursuant to Section 1401 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1401 (2002), and is entitled to registration as a United States citizen at a United States consulate and to issuance of a United States passport.

          6. Public Law No. 107-228, signed into law by President George W. Bush on September 30, 2002, declares in Section 214(d) thereof:
(d) RECORD OF PLACE OF BIRTH AS ISRAEL FOR PASSPORT PURPOSES - For purposes of the registration of birth, certification of nationality, or issuance of a passport of a United States citizen born in the city of Jerusalem, the Secretary shall, upon the request of the citizen or the citizen's legal guardian, record the place of birth as Israel.
          7. The defendant is the “Secretary” specified in the statutory provision quoted in paragraph 6 and has actual and legal authority over personnel of United States embassies and consulates in foreign countries.

          8. On December 24, 2002, plaintiff's mother, who is one of the plaintiff's “legal guardians,” visited the Embassy of the United States in Tel Aviv, Israel, and requested that the plaintiff be registered as a United States citizen and issued a passport in which his place of birth would be designated as “Jerusalem, Israel.” Officials at the United States Embassy refused to enter such a registration or to issue such a passport. They told the plaintiff's mother that such designation would be contrary to law. The plaintiff was issued a passport that records his place of birth as “Jerusalem” (Exhibit 1) and a “Consular Report of Birth Abroad” that omits the country of plaintiff's birth and designates only his city of birth as Jerusalem (Exhibit 2).

          9. The defendant is required by Public Law 107-228 to instruct personnel at United States embassies and consulates to grant requests such as those made by the plaintiff's mother, to register the plaintiff as a United States citizen at birth born in Jerusalem, Israel, and to issue a passport to the plaintiff with the designation of “Jerusalem, Israel” as the place of birth. On information and belief, the defendant has not issued such instruction notwithstanding the enactment of Public Law 107-228.

          WHEREFORE plaintiff demands the entry of a judgment against the defendant for a declaratory judgment and permanent injunction
(a) ordering the defendant to register the plaintiff as a citizen of the United States born in “Jerusalem, Israel” and to issue to the plaintiff a “Consular Report of Birth Abroad” with “Jerusalem, Israel” as the place of birth;

(b) ordering the defendant to issue a passport to the plaintiff specifying the plaintiff's place of birth as “Jerusalem, Israel”;

(c) ordering the defendant to instruct consular personnel at United States embassies and consulates to comply with Section 214(d) of Public Law 107-228;

(d) awarding to plaintiff attorneys' fees and costs pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2412; and

(e) for such other further relief as this Court may deem just and proper.

Dated: September 16, 2003

NATHAN LEWIN (D.C. Bar No. 38299)
ALYZA D. LEWIN (D.C. Bar No. 445506)
1828 L Street, N.W., Suite 1000
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 828-1000
(02) 828-0909 fax
Attorneys for Plaintiff

posted to 11-21-03

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