University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Pruidze v. Holder IM-MI-0003
Docket / Court 09-3836 (6th Cir) ( No Court )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
In July 2004, Petitioner in this case, then a green-card holder, returned to the United States and applied for admission as a lawful permanent resident alien. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) denied his application for admission, explaining that Petitioner's state conviction for a ... read more >
In July 2004, Petitioner in this case, then a green-card holder, returned to the United States and applied for admission as a lawful permanent resident alien. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) denied his application for admission, explaining that Petitioner's state conviction for a controlled-substance crime made him inadmissible. An Immigration Judge found Mr. Petitioner deportable, and DHS removed him on April 29, 2009. Six days later, Petitioner moved the state court to reopen his criminal proceedings because he had entered his guilty plea without counsel. On May 12, 2009, the state court set aside Petitioner's conviction.

On May 29, 2009, Petitioner filed a motion to reopen his removal proceedings with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) because without his criminal conviction, he believed he should no longer be deportable. The BIA denied his motion, reasoning that, because Petitioner was no longer in the United States, it did not have jurisdiction to hear Petitioner's motion. The BIA relied on Matter of Armendarez-Mendez, 241. & N. Dec. 646 (B.I.A. 2008), which held that the "departure bar," 8 C.F.R. § 1003.2(d), divested the Board of ''jurisdiction'' to entertain motions to reopen filed by aliens who are abroad. The departure bar says that "[ a] motion to reopen ... shall not be made by ... a person who is the subject of exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings subsequent to his or her departure from the United States."

Petitioner appealed the denial of his motion to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

On February 3, 2011, in a published opinion authored by Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, the Sixth Circuit found that the BIA's decision was incorrect and that immigrants like Petitioner have a right to reopen cases from outside the United States. The Court observed that other immigration law statutes, such as those adopted in the 1996 Immigration Act, do not support the BIA's reading of 8 C.F.R. § 1003.2(d) as preventing review of motions to reopen from outside of the country. Although "the agency is not required--by statute or this decision--to grant Petitioner's motion to reopen,...it is required---by both--to consider it."

Xin Chen - 04/10/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Deportation - judicial review
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) Attorney General
Plaintiff Description Plaintiff filed a motion to reopen his removal proceedings with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), BIA denied his motion. Plaintiff appealed the denial of his motion to the Sixth Circuit Court.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
09-3836 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 04/05/2011
IM-MI-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
The Sixth Circuit Opinion 02/03/2011 (632 F.3d 234)
IM-MI-0003-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Sutton, Jeffrey S. (Sixth Circuit)
IM-MI-0003-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dhade, Herman S. (Michigan)
IM-MI-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Marsteller, Eric Warren (District of Columbia)
IM-MI-0003-9000
Messuri, Anthony John (District of Columbia)
IM-MI-0003-9000
Peachey, William Charles (District of Columbia)
IM-MI-0003-9000
Segall, Jessica (District of Columbia)
IM-MI-0003-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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