Marinov v. Holder, No. 11-3643 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Marinov, a citizen of Bulgaria, entered the U.S. in 2005 as a nonimmigrant exchange visitor and remained beyond the date authorized. He applied for asylum. He was charged with removability under 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(1)(B). An attorney entered an appearance on Marinov’s behalf, conceded removability, and obtained transfer of venue. In December 2009, the immigration court served notice to Marinov’s attorney at the address provided on his appearance form, advising that a hearing was set for August 3, 2010. The attorney attended the hearing; Marinov did not. The IJ ordered removal in absentia. On September 24, Marinov, represented by new counsel, filed a motion to reopen based on a lack of notice, exceptional circumstances, and ineffective assistance of former counsel. He alleged that former counsel made misrepresentations to the IJ and included a copy of an attorney disciplinary complaint. The IJ denied Marinov’s motion, deciding that he received proper notice and had not shown that former counsel was informed of the allegations or afforded an opportunity to respond. The BIA rejected the argument that the ARDC complaint satisfied this requirement, concluding that the bar complaint and notice to counsel were two separate requirements. The Seventh Circuit denied review.