The Shapiro Law Firm, LLC
Attorneys & Counselors at Law

The ESinQuire ™

Esquire + Inquire = ESinQuire

Redefining Expectations of the Legal Blog™

Client Calls with Attorney Shapiro | Ep. #1 | What is NOT a Motion to Reopen


“Ring, Ring”

Attorney Shapiro (AS): Hello, Aaron Shapiro

Client (C): Hello. Hi, I want to know if you can reopen my case.

AS: What do you mean, what happened? What is your case? Is it an immigration case?

C: Yes. I have order of removal. Old order of removal and I am married to U.S. Citizen and she filed for me.

AS: Ok, hold on. When did you come to the United States?

C: 1987.

AS: How did you enter?

C: B2 Visa.

AS: Was it in your name?

C: Yes, sir.

AS: Do you have any criminal history?

C: No, sir.

AS: And, you said you have an order of removal, was that from the immigration court?

C: I do.

AS: Ok. So, now you are married to a U.S. Citizen?

C: Yup.

AS: Did he file for you yet?

C: Yes he did.

AS: And, what are you looking to do?

C: Get a green card.

AS: Did you ever appeal the order of removal?

C: No.

AS: So, you are going to need a motion to reopen with the immigration court, however, having an approved I-130 petition is not grounds to reopen your case.

C: What?!?

AS: Yeah, I mean anyone get can an I-130 approved after they got a removal order. That is not grounds to reopen your immigration case.

C: But my spouse is a U.S. Citizen.

AS: I know, it is not about your spouse. Your spouse has filed the I-130, that’s fine, that’s lovely, but you’ve got an order of removal, you can’t file to adjust considering the fact that you never appealed it, the only people who could ever adjudicate your application for adjustment would be the immigration judge, but you need to reopen that case. Having an I-130 filed—

C: So, let’s reopen it.

AS: Well, we need to talk about it. The grounds for the reopening in your case would be changed country conditions, ineffective assistance of counsel, however we have got a major tolling problem because it has been many, many years since you got the order of removal. So showing that you have been diligent—

C: Ineffective assistance of counsel.

AS: Excuse me. Excuse me.

C: Definitely ineffective assistance of counsel.

AS: When did this happen?

C: 1999.

AS: Have you done anything about this case since then?

C: Yeah, I have lost a lot of sleep.

AS: Did you file anything?

C: I went to several lawyers and they all said that you got to get married and I didn’t want a fake marriage so I finally found the love of my life.

AS: Well, in all honesty it is going to be extremely difficult to get your case reopened after all of these years, because we are going to have to show that you were diligent in dealing with your problem because you can’t just reopen a case after all of these years based on ineffective assistance. You got to come in for a consultation and I would like to order your whole file. We will do a FOIA. But the reality is, it has been a long time, you got a lot, you got a big uphile battle. We are going to have to discuss what the ineffective assistance actually may have been, whatever you think it was. We got to discuss all this. So I need you to make an appointment, come on in, because just having the I-130 is not going to really do anything inside the United States. I mean you cannot adjust because you have the removal order. So, let’s make an appointment, we can sit down and really discuss this and see if we can get a solution, alright?

C: Ok sir, thank you very much—

AS: Well hold on, wait, wait, wait. How about, you don’t want to make an appointment now?

C: Do you have anything available tomorrow?

AS: No, tomorrow is Saturday, we do not do Saturday appointments.

C: Ooo. Monday?

AS: No, Monday I am all booked up. I can do Tuesday morning if that works.

C: I will be there at 10 AM.

AS: Ok, 10 AM. 11 Broadway, Suite 615. Alright? Give me a call at (212) 444-8064 if anything changes, and take the 4/5 train to Bowling Green. Alright?

C: Thank you so much sir.

AS: Bring all of your papers please. Everything.

C: Ok, I do not have anything.

AS: You have nothing? Ok. Well, please bring a photo ID because we are going to be doing a FOIA filing for you. Ok?

C: Ok. Thank you so much.

AS: Ok, I will see you then.

C: Thank you.

AS: Bye.

disclaimer | “Attorney Advertising” This not a real call with a real client. This is an example of common questions that clients and potential clients ask us when they call. The caller is Attorney Amanda Shaffer. Actual client calls are NEVER recorded.