CASE: Motion to Reopen
CLIENT: Central African Republic
LOCATION: Cincinnati, OH
Our client came to the United States from the Central Republic of Africa in 2004. One month after, he filed for asylum with the USCIS. He was interviewed at the CIS office, but his asylum application was referred to the Cleveland Immigration Court. He went to his first hearing in Cleveland, and appeared at his previous master hearings as well.
He went to his last hearing in September 2010 in Cleveland Ohio where he both submitted a Form EOIR-33 (change of address) and was given an Individual Hearing date of January 9, 2013.
Our client moved a few months later but did not submit another EOIR-33. He did write his new address when he renewed his work permit though and submitted an AR-11 with the CIS.
Our client has always renewed his work permit application since 2005 and has reported his current address at those applications.
Last August, he applied for his work permit renewal with his new address, but his work permit renewal got denied. The denial stated that our client’s case was abandoned when he missed his hearing on January 26, 2012.
This was the first time that our client learned of the final order. In fact, he was under the assumption that his next hearing was on January 9, 2013.
Our client was surprised and contacted our office for legal assistance. We advised him that we can file a Motion to Reopen in absentia order of removal.
To rescind the final order, he has to get his case reopened. This is done through a Motion to Reopen filed with the Immigration Judge who gave the final order. Based on this Motion to Reopen, the Immigration Judge can rescind the in absentia order of removal if you are able to show that you did not receive proper notice of the hearing. If the Notice to Appear or hearing notice was sent to the wrong address for example, and not the last address you provided to the immigration service, then there’s a good basis for a Motion to Reopen.
On November 8, 2012, our office filed the Motion to Reopen with the Cleveland Immigration Court. Documentation of his address at the date of the final order, a detailed affidavit regarding his addresses and his circumstances around the final order date, documentation of the last address he provided to the immigration service and to the Immigration Court prior to the final order date, and other supporting documents were submitted (9 exhibits).
On December 10, 2012, the Cleveland Immigration Court granted our motion and reopened our client’s case. Our client now does not have the final order of removal and may continue to seek his relief under asylum with the Immigration Court. He may also renew his work permit as the asylum clock resumed.
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