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Mandamus

ARCHIVED ISSUE PAGE (LAST UPDATED APRIL 2011)

This Litigation Issue Page provides information about developments in immigration-related mandamus actions, with particular emphasis on cases seeking to compel the adjudication of applications that are delayed because of security checks.

USCIS Revisions of FBI Name Check Policy and Practice|Anticipating the Government's Answer and Preparing to Respond|What Type of Relief Should I Expect from the Court?|Attorney's Fees|Decisions in Mandamus Cases|Additional Resources

USCIS Revisions of FBI Name Check Policy and Practice

In a June 22, 2009 press release, USCIS stated that, in partnership with the FBI, it had eliminated the FBI name check delays - officially described as the FBI National Name Check Program (NNCP) backlog. USCIS stated that it had met the goals set forth in a joint business plan between USCIS and the FBI announced on April 2, 2008: to achieve a sustainable performance level by the NNCP of completing 98 percent of name check requests submitted by USCIS within 30 days, and the remaining two percent within 90 days. USCIS stated in its press release that this performance level will become the new agency standard.

Prior to this press release, on February 9, 2009, USCIS issued a memorandum, National Security Adjudication and Reporting Requirements-Update," amending guidance related to FBI name checks. The memo superceded the USCIS February 4, 2008 memorandum, "Revised National Security Adjudication and Reporting Requirements." The 2008 memo directed adjudicators to approve certain applications after the FBI fingerprint and IBIS check had been completed, and the FBI name check request had been pending for more than 180 days. This policy applied to Applications for Adjustment of Status (I-485); Applications for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility (I-601); Applications for Status as a Temporary Resident Under Section 245A of the Immigrant and Nationality Act (I-687); or Applications to Adjust Status from Temporary Permanent Resident (Under Section 245A of Public Law 99-603) (I-698).

In the February 9, 2009 memo, USCIS revised its policy of automatic approval of these applications after 180 days. Under the new policy, adjudicators cannot approve applications prior to receiving the FBI name check results without first seeking authorization from USCIS Headquarters. Adjudicators will contact Headquarters when an application is otherwise approvable and the name check has been pending for more than 150 days. The memo states that Headquarters will then provide case specific guidance, in some cases authorizing the adjudicator to approve the application. If adverse information is discovered after the approval, USCIS will determine if rescission or removal proceedings are warranted. USCIS states that its change in policy is due to improved FBI processing and response times. According to the 2009 memo, the FBI currently is returning name check results on average within 90 days, and few, if any, name checks remain pending at the FBI for 180 days.

This memo does not affect the requirement that FBI fingerprint check, IBIS check, and FBI name check results be obtained and resolved prior to approval of a Naturalization Application (N-400).

Impact of February 9, 2009 Memo on Delay Litigation

The Legal Action Center (LAC) previously advised practitioners who filed mandamus actions challenging agency delay in the adjudication of applications to refer to the February 4, 2008 memorandum as additional evidence of USCIS' recognition of its duty to adjudicate applications. Although the agency now has changed its position regarding automatic approval of applications prior to complete FBI name checks, the February 4, 2008 memo and the February 9, 2009 memo still provide evidence of this duty. See the LAC Practice Advisory, "Mandamus Jurisdiction Over Delayed Applications: Responding to the Government's Motion to Dismiss," for a discussion of the "duty" requirement for mandamus actions.

Anticipating the Government's Answer and Preparing to Respond

Although USCIS states that FBI now more quickly processes FBI name check requests, mandamus actions may still be necessary to compel government action on adjustment applications and naturalization applications prior to naturalization interviews. Increasingly, the government is challenging the jurisdiction of courts to review agency delay. No appellate court has yet ruled on the jurisdictional attacks by the government.

The LAC's practice advisory, Mandamus Jurisdiction Over Delayed Applications: Responding to the Government's Motion to Dismiss, provides several arguments that a plaintiff may use to counter the agency's jurisdictional attacks.

What Type of Relief Should I Expect from the Court?

When a court grants mandamus relief, it usually will direct USCIS to adjudicate an application or petition within a certain period of time, or order the agency to promptly process an application or petition without providing a deadline. For example, in Aboushaban v. Mueller, No. 06-1280, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81076 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 24, 2006), the court directed USCIS to adjudicate the plaintiff's I-485 application and to inform the court of its decision. The court provided no concrete deadline, but maintained jurisdiction over the case to ensure that its orders were carried out. In contrast, in Haidari v. Frazier, No. 06-3215, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89177 (D. Minn. Dec. 8, 2006), the court ordered the agency to complete its adjudication of plaintiffs' applications within 30 days.

In litigating a mandamus case, consider the following strategies:

  • Specifically requesting that the court order USCIS to adjudicate the application or petition within a certain time period, for example, 30 or 60 days.
  • Asking the court to maintain jurisdiction over the action even after granting mandamus relief so that the court can enforce its order. Alternatively, a plaintiff may request that the court require USCIS to periodically update the court about its progress.
  • In cases where the plaintiff knows or suspects that security checks are causing the delay, naming the FBI in addition to USCIS to ensure that the court has jurisdiction over both agencies. The court may then order either or both to complete the investigation of the plaintiff and process the application or petition

Attorney's Fees

Courts have awarded attorney's fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) in successful mandamus cases. However, under the Supreme Court's decision Buckhannon Bd. & Care Home Inc., v. W. Va. Dep't of Health and Human Res., 532 U.S. 598 (2001), courts only award attorney's fees when there has been some sort of court order demonstrating that the plaintiff was the "prevailing party." This order could be a judgment in plaintiff's favor, or perhaps a settlement agreement or consent decree approved by the court. However, if the government takes the action prior to and in the absence of a court order, Buckhannon will preclude an award of attorney's fees to the plaintiff. Please see the LAC's Practice Advisory, "Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) Fee Application," for a thorough explanation of Buckhannon and information about applying for attorney's fees under EAJA and earlier case law on this topic.

The following are mandamus cases where courts awarded fees:

  • Nadarajah v. Holder, 569 F.3d 906 (9th Cir. 2009)
    • The court awarded fees related to a mandamus petition filed in the Ninth Circuit to compel the district court to decide a habeas petition that had been pending for over a year.
    • The court found that although the mandamus petition was withdrawn after the district court issued its decision, it was nonetheless a “reasonable step” towards obtaining habeas relief.
    • The court also held that the matter required distinctive knowledge of immigration law and awarded fees at a rate in excess of the maximum EAJA rates.
  • Sedighi v. Holder, No. 07-1881, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56875 (D. Or. July 2, 2009)
    • The court found that defendants did not adjudicate plaintiffs' applications until ordered to do so by the court and defendants' failure to adjudicate plaintiffs' Adjustment of Status Applications (Forms I-485) was not substantially justified.
    • The court found that the matter required distinctive knowledge of immigration law and that the court could award fees at rates in excess of the maximum EAJA rates. The court reasoned that the parties were required to be well-versed in "complicated provisions of immigration law" and that the matter was additionally complex because it involved defendants' stay of plaintiffs' applications because of plaintiff's membership in a Tier III undesignated terrorist organization.
  • Chowdhury v. Siciliano, No. 06-07132 (N.D. Cal. May 13, 2008)
    • The court found that defendants' failure to adjudicate plaintiffs' EAD applications was not substantially justified and had no reasonable basis in law.
    • The court held that the stipulated dismissal between the parties adopted by the court constitutes a judicially sanctioned order for EAJA purposes.
    • The court also awarded an enhanced hourly rate because of higher living costs and quality of the attorneys.
  • Lazli v. United States Citizenship & Immigration Servs., No. 05-1680, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54444 (D. Or. July 25, 2007)
    • The court found that the defendants' failure to adjudicate plaintiff's I-751 and naturalization application was unreasonable and therefore the government's position was not "substantially justified."
    • The court also held that the matter required distinctive knowledge of immigration law and awarded fees at a rate in excess of the maximum EAJA rates.
  • Elkhatib v. Bulger, No. 04-22407, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60485 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 14, 2006)
    • The court granted fees after plaintiff prevailed in a mandamus action to compel USCIS to adjudicate his Adjustment of Status Application (Form I-485).
  • Aboushaban v. Mueller, 475 F. Supp. 2d 943 (N.D. Cal. 2007)
    • The court granted fees to a prevailing plaintiff in a mandamus action where the court ordered USCIS to adjudicate plaintiff's Adjustment of Status Application (Form I-485).

Decisions in Mandamus Cases

The following are select cases decided since 2006. Please see the LAC's Practice Advisory, "Mandamus Actions: Avoiding Dismissal and Proving the Case," for earlier cases including relevant circuit court decisions. Note that sometimes, the filing of a mandamus action prompts the government to take whatever action is requested and the case is dismissed. In addition, the agency often takes the requested action if the plaintiff survives a motion to dismiss. As a result, in many successful cases, the court never issues a decision on the merits.

Favorable Decisions

District Courts

Arizona

  • Aityahia v. Chertoff, No. 07-0630 (D. Ariz. July 29, 2008)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Denied defendants’ motion to dismiss
    • Application pending seven years at time of order
  • Kashkool v. Chertoff, 552 F. Supp. 2d 1131 (D. Ariz. 2008)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Found delay unreasonable and ordered agency to adjudicate application within 60 days
    • Application pending six years at time of decision

California

  • Amanjee v. Chertoff, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10004 (E.D. Cal. February 11, 2009)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 petition
    • Motion to dismiss denied
    • Application pending for approximately 3.5 years at time of decision
  • Shirmohamadali v. Heinauer, 535 F. Supp. 2d 1059 (E.D. Cal. 2008)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 petition
    • Found delay unreasonable and ordered USCIS to adjudicate application within 30 days
    • Application pending over four years at time of decision
  • Liu v. Chertoff, No. 06-2808, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50173 (E.D. Cal. July 11, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Found delay unreasonable and remanded to agency to adjudicate application expeditiously
    • Application pending two and a half years at time of decision
  • Okunev v. Chertoff, No. 07-00417, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53161 (N.D. Cal. July 11, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Found delay unreasonable and denied government's motion to dismiss
    • Application pending three and a half years at time of decision
  • Quan v. Chertoff, No. 06-7881, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44081 (N.D. Cal. June 7, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Found delay unreasonable and denied government's motion to dismiss
    • Application pending two and a half years at time of decision
  • Singh v. Still, 470 F. Supp. 2d 1064 (N.D. Cal. 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Found delay unreasonable and order agency to adjudicate application immediately
    • Applications pending more than seven years for one plaintiff and four years for the other at time of decision
  • Aboushaban v. Mueller, No. 06-1280, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81076 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 24, 2006)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Found delay unreasonable and ordered agency to adjudicate application immediately
    • Application pending eight years at time of decision
  • Razaq v. Poulos, No. 06-2461, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 770 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 8, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-130 application
    • Invited plaintiff to re-file motion for summary judgment if USCIS did not adjudicate application within 28 days
    • Application pending two years at time of decision
  • Ahmed v. Scharfen, No. 08-1680, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 591 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 7, 2009)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Defendants claimed delay was related to determination of which Tier III terrorist organizations may be exempted from terrorism-related inadmissibility, and that plaintiff might benefit from the review
    • Court denied defendants' motion to dismiss and ordered defendants to file a declaration from USCIS with specific information about USCIS methods for reviewing Tier-III terrorist organizations
    • Application pending eight years at time of order

Colorado

  • Al-Karim v. Mukasey, No. 08-00671, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28815 (D. Col. Mar. 25, 2009)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Ordered defendants, within 60 days, to provide the court and plaintiff with evidence specific to plaintiff's application demonstrating why the delay in adjudication is application is reasonable
    • Application pending for seven years at the time of decision

Connecticut

  • Salehian v. Novak, No. 06-459, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77028 (D. Conn. Oct. 23, 2006)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Ordered agency to provide explanation for delay or adjudicate application within two months
    • Application pending more than two years at time of decision

District of Columbia

  • Liu v. Novak, 509 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application (no mandamus relief, but remedy available under APA)
    • Ordered agency to adjudicate application within three months
    • Application pending four years at time of decision

Florida

  • Hadad v. Scharfen, No. 08-22608, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26147 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 12, 2009)
    • Found jurisdiction over USCIS in a mandamus suit on a pre-interview N-400 application
    • Failed to find jurisdiction over FBI
    • Issued an order setting a hearing on the status of plaintiff’s application
    • Application pending for over four years without an interview at the time of decision
  • Jones v. Gonzales, No. 07-20334, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45012 (S.D. Fla. June 21, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Ordered agency to complete background checks and adjudicate application within a "reasonably prompt" time
    • Applications pending for two years and almost three years at time of decision
  • Cacace v. Swacina, No. 07-20410, Order on Mot. to Dismiss (S.D. Fla. May 17, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Found delay unreasonable
    • Application pending three years
  • Tjin-A-Tam v. United States Dep't of Homeland Sec., No. 05-23339, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17994 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 9, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Ordered agency to adjudicate application within 180 days
    • Application pending four years at time of decision

Georgia

  • Kumykov v. Carlson, No. 09-1217 (N.D. Ga. June 4, 2009)
    • Found jurisdiction over DOL in a mandamus suit on a Form ETA-9089 Application for Permanent Employment Certification
    • Found DOL’s 10-month delay in adjudicating the plaintiff’s ETA-9089 unreasonable
    • Ordered the agency to issue a decision regarding the plaintiff’s ETA-9089 one month from the date of the court’s decision

Idaho

  • Wang v. Chertoff, 2009 U.S. Dist LEXIS 23146 (D. Ida. Mar. 23, 2009)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on delayed I-485 petition where visa number was unavailable due to USCIS mistake
    • Motion to dismiss denied
    • Application pending for approximately one year and 9 months at time of decision

Indiana

  • Olayan v. Holder, 2009 U.S. Dist LEXIS 12825 (S.D. Ind. Feb. 17, 2009)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on naturalization petition
    • The court did not reach the issue of reasonableness of the delay at the motion to dismiss stage

Massachusetts

  • Abdi v. Chertoff, 589 F. Supp. 2d 120 (D. Mass. 2008)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Order agency to adjudicate application within 60 days
    • Application pending four years at time of decision
  • Tang v. Chertoff, 493 F. Supp. 2d 148 (D. Mass. 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Found delay unreasonable and ordered agency to adjudicate application within 40 days
    • Application pending four years at time of decision

Minnesota

  • Burni v. Frazier, 545 F.Supp.2d 894 (D. Minn. 2008)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-130 and I-485 petitions
    • The court did not reach the issue of reasonableness of the delay at the motion to dismiss stage
  • Al Sawad v. Frazier, No. 07-1721, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75366 (D. Minn. Oct. 9, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Denied defendants' motion to dismiss and ordered agency to provide court and plaintiffs with evidence specific to plaintiffs' applications showing delay in adjudication was unreasonable
    • Application(s) pending three years at time of decision
  • Haidari v. Frazier, No. 06-3215, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89177 (D. Minn. Dec. 8, 2006)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Ordered agency to adjudicate application within 30 days
    • Applications pending for four and six years at time of decision

Nebraska

  • Li v. Chertoff, No. 07-50, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53309 (D. Neb. July 19, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application (no mandamus relief, but remedy available under APA)
    • Ordered agency to adjudicate application within 30 days
    • Application pending two years at time of decision

New Hampshire

  • Kuan Zhou v. FBI, No. 07-238, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46186 (D.N.H. June 12, 2008)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application (no mandamus relief but remedy available under APA)
    • Found delay unreasonable and denied government's motion to dismiss
    • Application pending three years at time of decision

New Jersey

  • Lei Xu v. Chertoff, No. 07-366, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50027 (D.N.J. July 11, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Ordered agency to adjudicate application or provide satisfactory explanation for delay
    • Application pending more than two years at time of decision
  • Pool v. Gonzales, No. 07-258, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39946 (D.N.J. June 1, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485and I-130 applications
    • Denied government's motion to dismiss

New York

  • Villa v. United States Dep't of Homeland Sec., 607 F. Supp. 2d 359 (N.D.N.Y 2009)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 applications
    • Denied government's motion to dismiss
    • Applications pending approximately eight years at the time of decision
  • Richards v. Napolitano, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55253 (E.D.N.Y. June 30, 2009)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-130 and I-485 petitions
    • Found that because the USCIS definition of “immediate relative,” which excluded surviving spouses, was not in accordance with law, mandamus relief was appropriate
    • Ordered agency to reopen I-130 and I-485 applications and enjoined agency from determining that plaintiff was no longer a “spouse”
  • Kakushadze v. Chertoff, No. 07-8338, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60995 (S.D.N.Y. July 24, 2008)
    • Found jurisdiction over the FBI in a mandamus suit on a pre-interview N-400 application
    • Failed to find jurisdiction over USCIS
    • Application pending for almost two years without an interview at the time of decision
  • Am. Acad. of Religion v. Chertoff, 463 F. Supp. 2d 400 (S.D.N.Y. 2006)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on non-immigrant H1-B
    • Ordered agency to adjudicate application within 90 days
    • Application pending two years at time of decision

Oregon

  • Sedighi v. Mukasey et al., No. 07-1881, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3682 (D. Or. Jan. 7, 2009)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Found delay unreasonable as a matter of law and ordered agency to adjudicate application within 60 days
    • Application pending more than six years at time of decision

Pennsylvania

  • Elhaouat v. Mueller, No. 07-632, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58906 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 13, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on N-400 application (no mandamus relief, but remedy available under APA)
    • Denied government's motion to dismiss
    • Application pending three years at time of decision
  • Ajmal v. Mueller, No. 07-206, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52046 (E.D. Pa. July 17, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on N-400 application
    • Denied government's motion to dismiss
    • Application pending nearly two years at time of decision
  • Han Cao v. Upchurch, 496 F. Supp. 2d 569 (E.D. Pa. 2007)
    • Finding jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Ordered agency to adjudicate application within 30 days
    • Application pending four years at time of decision
  • Hoyoung Song v. Klapakas, No. 06-05589, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27203 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 12, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Ordered agency to adjudicate application within 30 days
    • Application pending two years at time of decision
  • Liu Duan v. Zamberry, No. 06-1351, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12697 (W.D. Pa. Feb. 23, 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Denied government's motion to dismiss
    • Application pending sixteen months at time of decision

Texas

  • Valenzuela v. Kehl, No. 05-1764, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61054 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 23, 2006)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-130 application
    • Denied government's motion for summary judgment
    • Application pending six years at time of decision

Virginia

  • Aslam v. Mukasey, 531 F.Supp.2d 736 (E.D. Va. 2008)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 petition
    • Found delay unreasonable and ordered CIS to instruct the FBI to expedite the name check process. If the name check could not be completed within 90 days, the court ordered CIS to instruct the FBI to identify in detail the issues preventing completion, and ordered CIS to report those issues to the court. If the name check was completed, the court ordered CIS to adjudicate the application within 60 days of receiving the FBI’s report.
    • Application pending almost three years at time of decision

Wisconsin

  • Saleem v. Keisler, 520 F. Supp. 2d 1048 (W.D. Wis. 2007)
    • Found jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 (no mandamus relief, but remedy available under APA)
    • Found delay unreasonable and ordered agency to adjudicate application within two months
    • Application pending five years at time of decision

Adverse Decisions

Courts of Appeals
  • Bian v. Clinton, 605 F.3d 249 (5th Cir. Tex. 2010)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Application pending for approximately five years at the time of decision
  • Castillo v. Ridge, 445 F.3d 1057 (8th Cir. 2006)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Application pending eleven years at time of decision
District Courts

California

  • Li v. Chertoff, 482 F. Supp. 2d 1172 (S.D. Cal. 2007)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Application pending four years at time of decision

Florida

  • Zahani v. Neufeld, No. 05-1857, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56416 (M.D. Fla. June 26, 2006)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application but denied mandamus relief
    • Agency decisions whether or not to adjudicate are discretionary
    • Application pending three years at time of decision
  • Gemini Realty, Inc. v. Gonzalez, No. 06-786, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74194 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 11, 2006)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-129 application
    • Agency decisions whether or not to adjudicate are discretionary
    • Application pending eight months at time of decision
  • Grinberg v. Swacina, 478 F. Supp. 2d 1350 (S.D. Fla. 2007) vacated, Order on Appellant's Mot. to Vacate Dist. Ct. Order (11th Cir. June 19, 2008)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Timeframe of agency adjudication is discretionary
    • Application pending six years at time of decision

Illinois

  • Sharif v. Chertoff, 497 F. Supp. 2d 928 (N.D. Ill. 2007)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on 129-F application
    • Timeframe of agency adjudication is discretionary
    • Application pending a year and a half at time of decision
  • Guangming Liu v. Chertoff, No. 06-3297, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29640 (C.D. Ill. Apr. 23, 2007)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Application pending three years at time of decision

Massachussetts

  • Gebre v. Rice, 462 F. Supp. 2d 186 (D. Mass. 2006)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on diversity visa spouse application
    • Application pending four years at time of decision

Michigan

  • Carter v. DHS, No. 07-12953, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5049 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 24, 2008)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Timeframe of agency adjudication is discretionary
    • Application pending a year and a half at time of decision

Minnesota

  • Chaudry v. Chertoff, No. 06-1303, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66842 (D. Minn. Sept. 16, 2006)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Application pending two years at time of decision

Missouri

  • Yun Tan v. Chertoff, No. 07-236, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47395 (E.D. Mo. June 29, 2007)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Timeframe of agency adjudication is discretionary
    • Application pending four years at time of decision
  • Jabr v. Chertoff, No. 06-543, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84588 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 21, 2006)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 and I-130 applications
    • Timeframe of agency adjudication is discretionary
    • Application pending three years at time of decision

Nebraska

  • Narra v. Gonzalez, No. 06-3289, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48725 (D. Neb. July 3, 2007)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Timeframe of agency adjudication is discretionary
    • Application pending three years at time of decision

New Jersey

  • Omar v. Mueller, 501 F. Supp. 2d 636 (D.N.J. 2007)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on N-400 application
    • Application pending four years at time of decision
  • Shah v. Chertoff, No. 07-874, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51832 (D.N.J. July 18, 2007)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Timeframe of agency adjudication is discretionary
    • Application pending two years at time of decision
  • Mehta v. Thompson, No. 07-0667, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37542 (D.N.J. May 23, 2007), appeal docketed, No. 07-2839 (3d Cir. June 18, 2007)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Application pending for three years at time of decision
  • Yanping Qiu v. Chertoff, 486 F. Supp. 2d 412 (D.N.J. 2007)
    • Declined to decide whether mandamus jurisdiction available
    • Agency decisions whether or not to adjudicate are discretionary
    • Application pending more than three years at time of decision
  • Ma v. Chertoff, No. 06-6177, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34953 (D.N.J. May 11, 2007)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Timeframe of agency adjudication is discretionary
    • Application pending four years at time of decision
  • Feng Li v. Gonzalez, No. 06-5911, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32608 (D.N.J. May 3, 2007), appeal docketed, No. 07-2990 (3d Cir. Aug. 28, 2007)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Timeframe of agency adjudication is discretionary
    • Application pending three years at time of decision
  • Serrano v. Quarantillo, No. 06-5221, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26310 (D.N.J. Apr. 9, 2007)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Timeframe of agency adjudication is discretionary
    • Application pending three years at time of decision

New York

  • Keane v. Chertoff, 419 F. Supp. 2d 597 (S.D.N.Y. 2006)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit to reschedule I-485 interview
    • Application pending six years at time of decision

Ohio

  • Sinha v. Upchurch, 07-2274, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90286 (N.D. Ohio Dec. 7, 2007)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on N-400 application
    • Application pending a year and a half at time of decision

Rhode Island

  • Rogatch v. Chertoff, No. 06-541, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28450 (D.R.I. Apr. 17, 2007)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Application pending three years at time of decision

Texas

  • Maringo v. Gonzales, No. 06-3397, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80106 (S.D. Tex. Nov. 2, 2006)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Application pending five years at time of decisio
  • Martinez v. Chertoff, No. 06-27 (E.D. Tex. Nov. 28, 2006)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
  • Mustafa v. Pasquerell, No. 05-658, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8047 (W.D. Tex. Jan. 10, 2006)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 and I-130 applications
    • Timeframe of agency adjudication is discretionary
    • Applications pending four years at time of decision
  • Wilkinson-Okotie v. United States Dep't of Homeland Sec., No. 05-3978, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69298 (S.D. Tex. Sept. 26, 2006)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Application pending four years at time of decision

Virginia

  • Safadi v. Howard, 466 F. Supp. 2d 696 (E.D. Va. 2006)
    • Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over mandamus suit on I-485 application
    • Timeframe of agency adjudication is discretionary
    • Application pending four years at time of decision

Additional Resources

LAC Practice Advisories

LAC Issue Pages

USCIS Memos

Reports

Court Rules and Documents

  • Court Rules: Each court provides the local and federal procedural rules.
  • PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records): Provides docket information and documents filed in district court actions. Increasingly, district courts are posting pleadings on PACER.

Complaints

Additional Resources