Moscoso-Castellanos v. Lynch

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 10-13-2015
  • Case #: 12-72693
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Graber for the Court; Circuit Judge Watford and Chief District Judge Tunheim
  • Full Text Opinion

When served with notice to appear, an immigrant’s time of physical presence stops accruing upon notice, so long as the notice is full.

Jorge Moscoso-Castellanos entered the United States in April of 1997. He was served with a notice to appear for removal proceedings in April of 2005. Six years later he filed an application for cancellation of removal. The immigration judge found that Moscoso-Castellanos was statutorily ineligible to have his removal canceled because he had only been in the United States for eight years. The Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) agreed with the immigration judge, and Moscoso-Castellanos appealed. The Ninth Circuit found that the panel was bound to defer to an agency’s reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statute even if there were conflicting interpretations. The panel also found that the “stop-time” rule requires a notice to appear to be a full complaint with the listed statute requirements. Using past case precedent, the panel found that multiple interpretations of the statute were plausible, that the meaning was ambiguous, and that the interpretation of using multiple documents in combination to give full notice was proper. The panel concluded that Moscoso-Castellanos stopped accruing presence in 2005 when he was served with his notice to appear, and that he had only acquired eight years of presence in the United States, thus making him ineligible for cancellation of removal. DENIED in Part and DISMISSED in Part.

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