Hernandez v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 12-24-2013
  • Case #: 12-71862
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Christen for the Court; Circuit Judges O’Scannlain and Bea
  • Full Text Opinion

The “place-of-filing” rule is a procedural claims-processing rule and is not a jurisdictional bar to the Board of Immigration Appeals’ authority to consider a motion to reopen an application.

Appellant Jose Miguel Euceda Hernandez entered the United States in 1992, and in 2002, he filed an application for cancellation of removal. In 2004, an immigration judge denied the application. Any appeal was due by September 8, 2004. Hernandez sent notice of an appeal on September 9, 2004. The Board of Immigration Appeals (“the Board”) dismissed the appeal because it was untimely. Hernandez filed a motion to reconsider, asserting that the appeal, filed one day late, should be accepted as timely. The Board determined that it did not have jurisdiction pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1003.2(a), and under the “place-of-filing” rule, it could not reopen the application. Under the “place-of-filing” rule, a motion to reopen “must be filed with the immigration judge when the Board dismisses an appeal on jurisdictional grounds[.]” Hernandez argued that the Board did have authority to entertain the motion. Relying on the holding from Irigoyen-Briones v. Holder, the Ninth Circuit decided that the Board could exercise jurisdiction over an appeal even if the notice of appeal was filed after the 30-day deadline. In his argument, Hernandez purported that the “place-of-filing” rule is a procedural claims-processing rule, not a “jurisdictional bar to the Board’s authority to consider a motion to reopen.” The panel held that the “place-of-filing” rule is a procedural claims-processing rule and that the Board erroneously relied on the rule to determine it had no jurisdiction. The panel vacated the Board’s order and remanded it for proceedings. PETITION GRANTED; VACATED and REVERSED.

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