Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Manning v. Barr

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

June 27, 2019

MILTON MANNING, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM BARR, KIRSTJEN NIELSON, & NIEVES CARDINALE, Defendants.

          RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION TO REMAND

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Milton Manning (“Plaintiff”) is appealing the denial of his application for naturalization. Compl., ECF No. 1. Attorney General of the United States William Barr, [1] Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielson, and Director of the United States Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services Nieves Cardinale (“Defendants”) move for remand and dismissal without prejudice. Mot. to Remand and Mot. to Dismiss without Prejudice (“Mot. Remand”), ECF No. 17.

         For the reasons that follow, Defendants' motion for remand and dismissal without prejudice, ECF No. 17, is GRANTED.

         I. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On March 29, 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services (“USCIS”) denied Mr. Manning's N-400 form, and thus his application for naturalization, on moral character grounds. USCIS, “Decision” (Aug. 16, 2018), ECF No. 1 at 6 (“On March 29, 2018, USCIS denied your Form N-400 because you had not demonstrated that you met the good moral character eligibility requirement for naturalization. USCIS reached this decision based on the fact that you failed to provide the requested final, sealed disposition from your Virginia Criminal Record. The record reveals on January 3, 2017, you were charged with a felony crime, under, the Code of Virginia, section, 40, 1-103, cruelty and injuries to children/ penalty/abandoned infant.”).

         A month later, Mr. Manning requested a hearing, id., which the agency scheduled. Compl. at 2.

         Before the hearing, Mr. Manning went to the USCIS office in Hartford to explain that he had a scheduling conflict and needed a new hearing date. Id.; Mot. Remand at 1. A USCIS staffer “advised [Mr. Manning] that his hearing would be continued[; but] the request for a continuance [allegedly] did not reach Plaintiff's alien file prior to the issuance of the denial of his naturalization application.” Mot. Remand at 1. As a result, Mr. Manning's “naturalization application was denied for failure to appear at his scheduled hearing.” Id.

         On December 14, 2018, Mr. Manning, then pro se, filed a Complaint with this court seeking de novo review of his naturalization application. Compl. at 4 (“Request for Relief . . . . 1) My Naturalization Application Be Reviewed, 2) My Naturalization Application Be Granted.”).

         On May 14, 2018, Defendants filed their motion to remand and dismiss without prejudice. Mot. Remand. Defendants' motion corroborates Mr. Manning's claims that he sought and was promised a continuance, but that USCIS failed to continue his hearing and denied his naturalization application for his failure to appear. Mot. Remand at 2. The motion also states that on account of the agency's “mix-up, ” id., USCIS has re-scheduled Mr. Manning's hearing for July 2, 2019, id. However, “Defendants . . . assert that Plaintiff is not entitled to naturalization due to his failure to produce certified disposition records with respect to the criminal charges filed against him in Virginia in 2017.” Id. at 2-3.

         On June 24, 2019, the Court convened a telephonic status conference with the parties, Minute Entry, ECF No. 20, including Mr. Manning's recently retained counsel, Notice of Appearance, ECF No. 14. At that conference, Mr. Manning's counsel asked the Court not to remand the case to the agency, but rather to exercise its jurisdiction to review Mr. Manning's naturalization application de novo. Minute Entry. Defendants submitted that the more efficient route would be a remand and dismissal without prejudice. Id.

         II. DISCUSSION

         The Court will address two issues on Defendants' motion for remand and dismissal: (1) the source of this Court's jurisdiction over Mr. Manning's appeal, and (2) whether the Court may remand this case for further proceedings at the agency.

         A. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

         “The sole authority to naturalize persons as citizens of the United States is conferred upon the Attorney General.” Iqbal v. Sec'y U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., 190 F.Supp.3d 322, 327 (W.D.N.Y. 2016) (citing 8 U.S.C. § 1421). However, “[t]here are three avenues of judicial review.” Id. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.