The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals recently denied the Appeal of the petitioner’s Motion to Reopen Removal Proceedings.
The petitioner, an Indian national, EWI’d (entered without inspection) into the United States in 1996. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (predecessor to ICE) later arrested and detained him in Texas. On January 14, 1996, Patel was personally served with an Order to Show Cause, alleging that he was deportable because of his illegal entry.
Patel was later able to make bond and was let go. Patel’s family retained attorney Saul Brown in New York, who entered his appearance with the immigration court in Texas. Brown moved the court for a change of venue, which was granted. The case was then transferred to Newark, New Jersey. Brown was later notified that Patel’s master calendar hearing was scheduled for September 13, 1996.
Attorney Brown soon moved to withdraw from the case, stating that he had not “seen or heard from the respondent since the respondent was released from detention . . . .” At the time, Attorney Brown acknowledged that Patel’s next hearing was scheduled for September 13, 1996. Brown’s motion to withdraw was denied.
Patel failed to appear for his hearing, and was ordered deported in absentia on September 16, 1996. Notice of the order was mailed to Attorney Brown.
Thirteen years later, in September 2009, Patel filed a motion to reopen the proceedings. He argued that he had not received proper notice of the hearing. The IJ denied the motion, holding that Patel “was provided with proper notice of his deportation case.” The 3rd circuit held that the IJ did not abuse his discretion, and the decision of the IJ was upheld.