Justia Civil Procedure Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Immigration Law
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Petitioner, a citizen of El Salvador, was detained pursuant to 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1226(a), which authorizes the federal government to detain aliens pending the completion of their removal proceedings. Petitioner requested and received a bond hearing before an Immigration Judge to determine if his detention was justified. The Immigration Judge concluded that Petitioner, who had an extensive criminal history, presented a danger to the community due to his gang affiliation. Based on this, the Immigration Judge denied release on bond. Petitioner claims that his continued detention was unconstitutional because under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, he is entitled to a second bond hearing at which the government bears the burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence.The district court ruled that Petitioner was constitutionally entitled to another bond hearing before the Immigration Judge.The Ninth Circuit held that the Due Process Clause does not require more than Sec. 1226(a) provides. View "AROLDO RODRIGUEZ DIAZ V. MERRICK GARLAND, ET AL" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a native and citizen of Honduras, sought review of two decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) denying asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). Specifically, Petitioner claimed that her family had been threatened, kidnapped, and beaten by members of the Mara 18 gang while a local Honduran police officer was present. Garcia-Aranda sought asylum and withholding of removal, arguing that the gang had persecuted her because she was a member of the Valerio family, which ran its own drug trafficking ring in Garcia-Aranda’s hometown. She also sought protection under CAT based on an asserted likelihood of future torture at the hands of the gang with the participation or acquiescence of the local Honduran police.Petioner's CAT petitioner alleged that she had been kidnapped while local police were present. These allegations required the BIA to inquire, whether it was more likely than not (1) that the gang will intentionally inflict severe pain or suffering to intimidate or coerce her, including meeting all the harm requirements for torture under section 1208.18(a); and (2) that local police acting under color of law will either (i) themselves participate in those likely gang actions or (ii) acquiesce in those likely gang actions.However, neither of these inquiries was made below. Thus, the Second Circuit reversed in part, remanding to the BIA for further proceedings. View "Garcia-Aranda v. Garland" on Justia Law

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Petitioner and her minor daughter, natives and citizens of Guatemala, petition for review of the final order of the Board of Immigration Appeals dismissing their appeal from the immigration judge’s order denying Petitioner’s application for asylum and withholding of removal. Petitioners filed their petition for review with this Court one day after the deadline set by 8 U.S.C. Section 1252(b)(1). They contend that the Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 26(c) extends the filing period by three additional days because the Board served the order by mail.   The Fourth Circuit dismissed the petition concluding that Rule 26(c) does not apply to petitions for review governed by Section 1252(b)(1). The court explained that because Section 1252(b)(1) calculates the time to file a petition for review from “the date of the final order of removal,” and not from service of that order, Rule 26(c) does not apply. View "Ana Santos-De Jimenez v. Merrick Garland" on Justia Law

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Petitioner petitioned for a review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals to uphold the denial of his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. An Immigration Judge, as authorized by Congress, conducted the removal proceeding via video teleconference.   The Second Circuit concluded that the Fifth Circuit is the proper venue for his petition for review because jurisdiction vested in Louisiana and there was no change of venue after removal proceedings commenced. Still, in light of Petitioner’s understandable confusion about the proper venue for his petition, the period of time in which the petition has been pending before this Court, and the fact that his counsel is based in New York, the court denied the government’s motion to transfer. Thus, the court proceeded to consider Petitioner’s motion for a stay of removal, which the court denied due to Petitioner’s failure to demonstrate either a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits of his claim or that he will be irreparably injured absent a stay. View "Sarr v. Garland" on Justia Law

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This appeal concerns the district court’s sua sponte dismissal of Plaintiff’s amended complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted under 28 U.S.C. Section 1915A—the early screening provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”). Plaintiff contends that the district court erred in designating him a “prisoner” under the PLRA at the time he filed his pro se complaint and that the district court further erred in ordering him to pay a filing fee before the district court.   The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court’s ruling. The court held that the district court erred in applying the PLRA to Plaintiff’s action because Plaintiff, as a civil detainee in ICE custody, was not a “prisoner” under the PLRA when he filed his action. Thus, Plaintiff’s complaint must be viewed by the district court in the first instance and outside of the context of the PLRA on remand. Moreover, as Plaintiff was not a “prisoner” for purposes of the PLRA at the time that he filed this action, on remand, the court directed the district court to return the filing fees paid by Plaintiff pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1915(b)(1). Further, regarding Plaintiff’s motion before this Court seeking a return of the appellate filing fees paid pursuant to the PLRA, that motion is granted and the Clerk is directed to refund to Plaintiff the appellate filing fees paid by him to pursue this appeal. View "Lyncoln Danglar v. State of Georgia, et al." on Justia Law

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ICE has decided to rely almost exclusively on privately owned and operated facilities in California. Two such facilities are run by appellant The Geo Group, Inc. AB 32 would override the federal government’s decision, pursuant to discretion conferred by Congress, to use private contractors to run its immigration detention facilities.The Ninth Circuit en banc court vacated the district court’s denial of the United States and The Geo Group, Inc.’s motion for preliminary injunctive relief, and held that California enacted Assembly Bill (AB) 32, which states that a “person shall not operate a private detention facility within the state,” would give California a virtual power of review over Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s detention decisions, in violation of the Supremacy Clause.The en banc court held that whether analyzed under intergovernmental immunity or preemption, California cannot exert this level of control over the federal government’s detention operations. The en banc court remanded for further proceedings. The en banc court held that AB 32 would breach the core promise of the Supremacy Clause. To comply with California law, ICE would have to cease its ongoing immigration detention operations in California and adopt an entirely new approach in the state. This foundational limit on state power cannot be squared with the dramatic changes that AB 32 would require ICE to make. The en banc court held that appellants are likely to prevail on their claim that AB 32 violates the Supremacy Clause as to ICE-contracted facilities. View "THE GEO GROUP, INC., ET AL V. GAVIN NEWSOM, ET AL" on Justia Law

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Petitioner petitioned for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The order dismissed his appeal of an Immigration Judge’s denials of his claims for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. He presented several procedural and substantive challenges on appeal.   The Fifth Circuit dismissed the petition for review in part for lack of jurisdiction  and denied in part. The court explained that the BIA did not specifically discuss the IJ’s interpretation of the evidence, but it did reference the particular testimony on the severity of his attacks, the police involvement, and the affidavits that Petitioner alleged the IJ misconstrued. Even if the BIA did not agree with Petitioner’s contention about mischaracterizations, the BIA did mention the evidence that Petitioner alleges it failed to consider meaningfully. This is sufficient.    Finally, the court concluded, that it was reasonable for the BIA to conclude that the new evidence Petitioner presented would not change the outcome of his case. The medical evaluation Petitioner sought to submit would not have altered his case because the evaluation did not discuss symptoms and injuries related to the BJP attacks. Further, it was reasonable for the BIA to conclude Petitioner’s new declaration or affidavits would not have influenced his case, considering he already supplied a declaration and his testimony describing his injuries as minor could not be remedied with his additional evidence. View "Kumar v. Garland" on Justia Law

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In 2002, Petitioner Mayra Estrada-Cardona entered the United States on a tourist visa which she subsequently overstayed. She resided in the United States with her two United States citizen children: A.E. and L.E. A.E. suffers from mental and physical disabilities, some of which are likely to be lifelong. While in the United States, Petitioner played a key role in ensuring A.E. received physical therapy and special education support—both vital to A.E.’s wellbeing and continued progress. In 2009, Petitioner was arrested for driving without a license. She pled guilty and paid the associated fines, but because of the traffic violation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained Petitioner and began removal proceedings. At the hearing, Petitioner appeared unrepresented and conceded the charge contained in the notice to appear—rendering her removable. At the time, Petitioner was in the country for at most seven years, making her statutorily ineligible for any discretionary relief from removal. The immigration judge therefore ordered Petitioner to voluntarily depart the United States. Every year—from 2013 to 2017—Petitioner requested a stay of removal, and every year ICE approved her request. ICE denied her most recent request on December 28, 2017. ICE did not take any immediate action to remove Petitioner from the United States, only requiring her to attend regular check-ins at the local ICE office. ICE finally detained Petitioner and initiated removal on September 30, 2020. Petitioner asked the BIA to reopen removal proceedings pursuant to Pereira v. Sessions, 138 S. Ct. 2105 (2018). Petitioner's notice to appear failed to specify the “time and place at which the proceedings will be held.” Because the notice to appear did not stop the clock, Petitioner insisted that she had the requisite presence to be eligible for cancellation of removal because she had been in the country for 16 years. BIA held Petitioner was not eligible for cancellation of removal because the immigration judge issued the order to voluntarily depart, which qualified as a final order of removal, when Petitioner had accrued, at most, eight years of physical presence. The Tenth Circuit rejected the BIA's final-order argument, holding that a final order of removal did not stop the accrual of continuous physical presence. View "Estrada-Cardona v. Garland" on Justia Law

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Petitioners overstayed their permission to visit the United States 20 years ago, and they’ve been here ever since. For the second time after they were ordered removed, they asked the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) to reopen their removal proceedings. For the second time, the Board refused.On appeal, Petitioners focused on the BIA’s failure to consider certain evidence of changed country conditions. They argue that amounted to an abuse of discretion. (They also argue the BIA committed various other errors.)The Fifth Circuit denied their petition, holding that (A) Petitioners’ claims are number-barred. Then the court wrote that it (B) rejected Petitioners’ resort to federal regulations and instead apply the statute as written. Finally, the court (C) denied the petition without remanding it to the BIA. The court explained that the number bar is a separate impediment to relief. The INA first lays out the number bar: Petitioners generally get one and only one motion to reopen. Section 1229a(c)(7)(A). Then the statute creates one and only one exception. In the same sentence as the number bar itself, Congress said: “[T]his limitation shall not apply so as to prevent the filing of one motion to reopen described in subparagraph (C)(iv).” And everyone agrees that petitioners do not qualify for the single statutory exception to the number bar in (C)(iv). Thus, Petitioners'’ motion to reopen is number-barred. View "Djie v. Garland" on Justia Law

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The federal government may deny admission or adjustment of status to a noncitizen “likely at any time to become a public charge, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(4)(A). For decades, “public charge” was understood to refer to noncitizens “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either (i) the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or (ii) institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.” In 2019, the Department of Homeland Security expanded the meaning of “public charge” to disqualify a broader set of noncitizens from benefits. The Rule immediately generated extensive litigation.In 2020, the district court vacated the 2019 Rule under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 701. In 2021, the federal government dismissed appeals defending the 2019 Rule in courts around the country. Several states subsequently sought to intervene in the proceedings, hoping to defend the 2019 Rule; they also moved for relief from judgment under Rule 60(b). The district court denied the motions, finding each untimely. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The district court did not abuse its discretion with respect to timeliness. The court declined to address other issues. View "Cook County, Illinois v. State of Texas" on Justia Law