Diaz Martinez v. Barr, No. 17-72186 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit granted the petition for review of the BIA's denial of two motions to reopen petitioner's removal proceedings. Petitioner sought to reopen her removal proceedings after an IJ issued an in absentia removal order when she failed to appear at an immigration hearing.
The panel held that it had jurisdiction over petitioner's case because, absent any prejudice to the Government, a premature petition for review of an immigration order may ripen upon final disposition of the case by the BIA. On the merits, the panel held that the BIA abused its discretion in denying the appeal of a motion to reopen, where the IJ in the underlying removal proceeding ordered petitioner removable in absentia on the basis of an amended notice to appear. In this case, the in absentia removal order was not supported by substantial evidence because the record provided no evidence of proper service of the amended notice to appear, as required by due process, and the IJ ordered petitioner removed based on admissions to the charges for which she did not receive notice.