Cui v. Garland, No. 18-72030 (9th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Cui. a Chinese citizen, overstayed her work visa and applied for asylum. In 2014, Cui was arrested while out of state. Neither she nor her counsel attended her merits hearing before the IJ. She was ordered removed in absentia. Although Cui engaged a second lawyer, that lawyer incorrectly filed an appeal to the BIA. In July 2014, Cui’s counsel attempted to file a motion to reopen before the IJ, but the clerk rejected and did not file the motion because of the pending appeal and because another attorney was counsel of record in the immigration court. Cui’s counsel did not attempt to rectify his errors or refile the motion to reopen within the statutorily allotted 180 days, 8 U.S.C. 1229a(b)(5)(C)(i).
Over two years later, after the BIA returned Cui’s case to the IJ for lack of jurisdiction to consider the erroneous appeal, Cui’s counsel again moved to reopen before the IJ. Both the IJ and the BIA dismissed the 2016 motion as untimely. The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review. The 180-day deadline to file a motion to reopen was not tolled. The BIA neither abused its discretion in determining that Cui’s 2016 motion was untimely nor legally erred by declining to sua sponte reopen her case.