Russell Abrutyn

Abrutyn Law PLLC

3765 12 Mile Road

Berkley, MI 48072

Friday, December 18, 2009

Court upholds in absentia order

In Acquaah v. Holder, the alien failed to appear for a telephonic master calendar hearing at his attorney's office because he thought the hearing was two days later.  He further alleged that his attorney then failed to challenge the in absentia order over the next 2 1/2 years.  The attorney did not file a motion to reopen until after the alien hired another attorney.

Suggesting that the 180 day deadline is subject to equitable tolling, the Court found that the alien failed to present exceptional circumstances excusing the delay.  The alien was too "disengaged" from the process and should have been more diligent in following up on his attorney.  The alien's mistaken belief as to the hearing date was not an exceptional circumstance, regardless of the errors made by the attorney.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sixth Circuit modifies court rules

The Court recently announced amendments to the FRAP and local rules:

Significantly, local rule 30 does away with the need to file an appendix in most immigration petitions for review.  According to the clerk's office, this rule is effective immediately and applies to pending cases, although counsel is cautioned to check with the case manager before deciding whether to forgo an appendix. This rule should reduce the time and cost associated with filing a petition for review.

The amendments also reflect a change in the way time periods are computed.