Hizam v. Kerry, No. 12-3810 (2d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit under 8 U.S.C. 1503(a), seeking a declaration of U.S. nationality and the return of his Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and passport. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of plaintiff and the government appealed. The consular officer had erroneously applied the five-year rule under 8 U.S.C. 1401(g), instead of the ten-year rule, in granting plaintiff a CRBA. The court concluded that plaintiff was not entitled to documentary proof of U.S. citizenship because he was indisputably not a U.S. citizen. The court held that section 1503(a) allows a district court to grant just one type of relief: a declaration that a person is a U.S. national; the enactment of section 1504 did not change the citizenship rights provided by statute, and simply providing jurisdiction where none existed previously did not create an impermissible retroactive effect; and despite the considerable inequities in plaintiff's favor, the courts were simply unable to provide plaintiff the relief he seeks. According, the court reversed and remanded with directions to dismiss the complaint.