University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Mocanu v. Mueller IM-PA-0008
Docket / Court 2:07-cv-00445-MMB ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
Nearly three years after applying for naturalization, plaintiff had still not received an appointment to be interviewed for citizenship, the next step in his naturalization process. On February 1, 2007, represented by private counsel, plaintiff petitioned the U.S. District Court for the district of ... read more >
Nearly three years after applying for naturalization, plaintiff had still not received an appointment to be interviewed for citizenship, the next step in his naturalization process. On February 1, 2007, represented by private counsel, plaintiff petitioned the U.S. District Court for the district of Pennsylvania to compel U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) to schedule him for an interview and to render a decision on his citizenship application within thirty days. The case was assigned to District Court Judge Michael M. Baylson.

Administratively, plaintiff was in a complicated position: under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1101, et. seq, naturalization applicants have a right to petition the district courts if their application is denied or if they do not receive a response within 120 days of their interview. Here, as the plaintiff had never actually received an interview, he met neither requirement, leaving him in an application limbo. Therefore, plaintiff asked the courts to consider the extended delay a constructive denial of his application and to invoke its right to review under the INA. Alternatively, plaintiff suggested that the court might invoke either the Administrative Procedure Act or its mandamus powers to compel USCIS to perform its duty of conducting citizenship appointments.

In January 2018, the court became aware that it had six nearly identical cases, including this one, and held a hearing on all cases simultaneously. In a following memorandum and order, the court suggested that the government, "overwhelmed by these applications, ha(d) adopted a strategy of favoring delay by litigation, instead of developing an orderly and transparent administrative resolution." The court recommended that all six plaintiffs cross-file for summary judgment and enjoined the USCIS from preemptively resolving any of their immigration cases, thus mooting the cases, before a final judgment could be filed.

One month later, the court granted the plaintiffs' motions for summary judgment, finding that the FBI name check procedure which had delayed their applications was not authorized by statute and was thus reviewable as an administrative procedure.

USCIS filed an emergency motion to stay the order and was denied. Plaintiff was naturalized on March 12, 2008, at which point the parties agreed to dismiss the case as moot. The court entered the stipulated order of dismissal on March 20, 2008. The case is closed.

Mike Fagan - 07/02/2008
Sean Drohan - 06/13/2021


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Immigration/Border
Status/Classification
U.S. citizenship - acquiring
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361
Defendant(s) Department of Homeland Security
Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Plaintiff Description Individual permanent legal resident whose naturalization application was left pending for over three years.
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 02/01/2007
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
E.D. Pa.
03/20/2008
2:07-cv-445
IM-PA-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
E.D. Pa.
02/01/2007
Complaint and Petition for Hearing on Naturalization [ECF# 1]
IM-PA-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Pa.
10/04/2007
Memorandum [ECF# 7] (2007 WL 2916192)
IM-PA-0008-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Pa.
01/14/2008
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 19] (2008 WL 154606)
IM-PA-0008-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Pa.
02/08/2008
Memorandum Re: Cross Motions for Summary Judgment [ECF# 28] (2008 WL 372459)
IM-PA-0008-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Pa.
03/20/2008
Voluntary Stipulation of Dismissal [ECF# 35]
IM-PA-0008-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Baylson, Michael M. (E.D. Pa.) show/hide docs
IM-PA-0008-0002 | IM-PA-0008-0003 | IM-PA-0008-0004 | IM-PA-0008-0005 | IM-PA-0008-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Kaplan, David (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
IM-PA-0008-0005 | IM-PA-0008-9000
Orlow, James (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
IM-PA-0008-0001 | IM-PA-0008-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cherico, Colin Michael (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
IM-PA-0008-0005 | IM-PA-0008-9000
Gibson, Virginia A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-PA-0008-9000
Stevens, Elizabeth Jones (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-PA-0008-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -