Rodriguez v. Garland, No. 20-60008 (5th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's decision dismissing petitioner's appeal challenging the IJ's denial of his motion to reopen removal proceedings and rescinding his in absentia removal order. The court concluded that the BIA based its decision on a legally erroneous interpretation of 8 U.S.C. 1229(a). In this case, the initial notice to appear did not contain the time and date of petitioner's hearing, and the BIA found that the notice combined with the subsequent notice of hearing containing the time and place of petitioner's hearing satisfied the written notice requirement of section 1229(a). However, the court concluded that this was directly contrary to the Supreme Court's interpretation of section 1229(a) in Niz-Chavez v. Garland, 141 S. Ct. 1474 (2021), which made clear that subsequent notices may not cure defects in an initial notice to appear.