Jiang v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 09-26-2011
  • Case #: 06-73470
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Pregerson for the Court; Circuit Judge Graber and Senior District Judge Ripple
  • Full Text Opinion

The IJ erred in not allowing the petitioner to authenticate documents through his own testimony, when such documents would be substantial evidence in demonstrating his eligibility for adjustment of status. The IJ and BIA also erred in denying a reasonable short continuance when petitioner was not given adequate notice that documents would require authentication through a United States consulate in China.

Zhanling Jiang, a native and citizen of China, petitioned for the review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) denial of his application for “adjustment of status, asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture.” The Ninth Circuit held that substantial evidence did not support the IJ’s finding and BIA’s conclusion that “Jiang was married and thus ineligible for adjustment of status as the unmarried son of a United States citizen.” Jiang had submitted two documents, issued in China, establishing his singlehood. First, the Court held the IJ erred in refusing to allow Jiang to authenticate the documents through his own testimony. Second, the IJ erred in refusing to accept as evidence Jiang’s Notarial Certificate without consular certification. Such evidence would have demonstrated Jiang’s eligibility for adjustment of status. The Court held that the IJ further erred in abusing her discretion by denying Jiang’s motion for a continuance. The BIA also abused its discretion in the denial of the continuance after the weighing of four factors: “(1) the importance of the evidence, (2) the unreasonableness of the immigrant’s conduct, (3) the inconvenience to the court, and (4) the number of continuances previously granted.” Before his hearing on the merits, Jiang was not given adequate notice that the IJ would require the authentication of his foreign documents through a United States consulate in China, rather than through other means. As such, a request for a short continuance by Jiang was not unreasonable. PETITION GRANTED and REMANDED.

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