Precedent & Important Published Decisions:

Tobon-Marin v. Mukasey, 512 F.3d 28 (1 st Cir. 2008)

Court decided that threatening conduct by terrorist groups must be politically motivated to win asylum.
The First Circuit Court of Appeals established a precedent decision on our clients’ asylum case, stating that coercive practices by the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) in attempting to conscript individuals for their guerrilla group did not trigger an entitlement to political asylum under 8 U.S.C.S. § 1101(a)(42)(A), unless specific evidence is provided that the FARC targeted the individuals due to their pro-government or anticommunist political views.

Piedrahita v. Mukasey , 524 F.3d 142 (1 st Cir. 2008)

Court decided that credibility determinations must be addressed in an asylum appeal. 
The First Circuit Court of Appeals established a precedent decision on our clients’ asylum case, stating that a petition for review of the BIA’s dismissal of an asylum claim under 8 U.S.C.S. § 1158, must address an adverse credibility determination in order to prevail.

Escobar v. Chertoff , 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40052 (D. Mass. 2008)

Court ruled that USCIS may not independently decide an N-400 (citizenship petition) after a lawsuit is filed. 
A Leal Permanent Resident client of the firm applied for citizenship. After waiting the proper time for a decision (120 days) without obtaining a response, we filed a law suit in Federal Court to have her naturalization decided by a judge instead of the USCIS, in order to avoid further delay. Soon after, the USCIS denied her naturalization petition and we argued that at this time the USCIS did not have the right to decide her case, as it was before the US District Court. The US District Court decided in our favor and ruled that once a law suit is filed in Federal Court, the USCIS may not continue to process an application independently.

Li v. Chertoff, 490 F. Supp. 2d 130 (2007 U.S. Dist.)

Citizenship allowed for person temporarily outside the US.
An individual who was a Legal Permanent Resident in the U.S. applied for naturalization with the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services) and then went to Canada to pursue an opportunity to study in a university’s dental program. While she attempted to complete her naturalization application before her departure date, but it was unreasonably delayed by the USCIS. Even though she obtained resident status in Canada she always maintained her Legal Permanent Resident status in the U.S. We argued that despite the fact she was temporarily residing in Canada she was still eligible to be granted citizenship in the U.S. and the court found in our favor.

Naoum v. Dep’t of Homeland Sec., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28813 (D. Mass. Apr. 19, 2007)

Court ruled that it has the authority to order a government agency to produce records. 
After we filed a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request to produce records held by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on behalf of a client, and the DHS failed to produce the records, we filed an action in the Federal Court to force DHS to comply with our request. DHS claimed that we could not use a court order to force them to produce records in these circumstances, however the court ruled in our favor and determined that the Freedom of Information Act confers it jurisdiction to order a government agency like the DHS to produce records that were improperly withheld after a proper request was filed.

Osunsanya v. United States Citizenship & Immigration Servs. , 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9474, 2007 WL 484864 (D. Mass. 2007) also published in Benders Immigration Journal []

Court confirms its authority to review I-130 petitions (petitions for alien relative) 
A plaintiff filed a writ of mandamus against the U.S.C.I.S. (U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services) because it was taking more than 2 years to adjudicate his green card application (immigration has to adjudicate applications in a timely manner). After he filed his complaint, he alleged that USCIS threatened his wife and coerced her into signing documents that provided the grounds for the denial of his residency application. After denying his residency application, immigration moved to dismiss his law suit, stating that the court no longer had jurisdiction to review the matter because his application had been denied and therefore the adjudication was complete. Our office filed an opposition to immigration’s motion dismiss and convinced the court that because the denial was allegedly based on improper government conduct, it is invalid and the District Court has jurisdiction to review the matter. The court ruled in our favor.

Krazoun v. Ashcroft, 350 F.3d 208 (1st Cir. 2003)

Court established documentation requirements to reopen a deportation/removal based upon a new marriage to a US citizen. 
An alien who was deported from the United States, subsequently married a U.S. citizen. He applied to have his deportation case reopened based upon his marriage and the Board of Immigration appeals denied his request. This denial was appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeals and the court ruled, in a precedent establishing decision, that the denial of an alien’s motion to reopen deportation proceedings based upon marriage to a U.S. Citizen is only proper if (1) the alien fails to establish the bona fides of the marriage pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 204.2(a) or (2) if in its discretion the government’s decision was not arbitrary and capricious nor predicated upon a misinterpretation of applicable law.

Commonwealth v. Todd , 1999 Mass. Super. LEXIS 572 (Mass. Super. Ct. Dec. 30, 1999).

Court confirmed the right to receipt of notice of a restraining order 
A restraining order was obtained against a defendant; however, the order was never served on him. Subsequently, the defendant and two friends, took his child without permission, and attempted to return to Florida with his child. Our office filed a motion to dismiss charges related to the violation of the restraining order, since there was no evidence that the restraining order had been served on our client. The court found in our favor, because the grand jury heard no evidence relating to the defendant’s knowledge of the terms of the restraining order, and therefore the evidence was insufficient to sustain the indictment for violation of a restraining order. (Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 209A, § 7.)

Other Published Decisions:

  1. Riga wood North America, Inc. Employer, On Behalf of Raimonds Svanks, Alien , Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals, U.S. Department of Labor, 2010-PER-00218 (April 2010)
  2. Bocova v. Haydon ,  2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35028 (2009 MA U.S. Dist. Ct.)
  3. Ore v. Clinton , 675 F. Supp. 2d 217 (D. Mass. 2009)
  4. Azziz v. Chertoff , 27 F. Supp. 2d 188 (2007 MA U.S. Dist. Ct.)
  5. Sandhu v. Gonzales , 185 Fed. Appx. 4 (1 st Cir. 2006)
  6. Osorno v. Gonzales , 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 6768 (1 st Cir. March 10, 2006)
  7. Mana v. Gonzales , 128 Fed. Appx. 167 (1 st Cir. 2005)
  8. Betancur Lopez v. Gonzales , 192 Fed. Appx. 19 (1st Cir. 2006)
  9. Caballero v. Gonzales , 130 Fed. Appx. 487 (1 st Cir. 2005) 
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