Dehrizi v. Johnson et al

Filing 33

ORDER: Because the Court finds on balance that several TRAC factors favor Plaintiff, several are neutral, and one tips in favor of Defendants, genuine issues of material fact exist as to the reasonableness of the delay necessitated by Defendants' hold on Plaintiffs I-485 application. Therefore, Defendants are not entitled to judgment as a matter of law. ORDERED denying Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment 24 . Signed by Magistrate Judge Eileen S Willett on 1/21/16.(SJF)

Download PDF
1 WO 2 3 4 5 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 7 8 Ali Reza Dehrizi, No. CV-15-00008-PHX-ESW Plaintiff, 9 10 v. 11 ORDER Jeh Johnson, et al., 12 Defendants. 13 14 15 Pending before the Court is Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 24) 16 on Plaintiff’s claim for a writ of mandamus. The Federal Court has jurisdiction pursuant 17 to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The parties have consented to proceeding before a Magistrate Judge 18 pursuant to Rule 73, Fed. R. Civ. P. and 28 U.S.C. § 636 (c) (Doc. 15). 19 After reviewing the parties’ submissions, the Court finds that genuine issues of 20 material fact exist concerning the reasonableness of Defendants’ delay in the adjudication 21 of Plaintiff’s application for adjustment of his citizenship status. 22 entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. Defendants’ Motion for Summary 23 Judgment will be denied for the reasons set forth herein. 24 25 Defendant is not I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY Plaintiff is a citizen of Iran who was admitted to the United States as a refugee on 26 December 12, 2005. 27 Customs and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), seeking adjustment of his citizenship 28 status to permanent resident pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1159(a)(1). Plaintiff’s adjustment On January 22, 2007, Plaintiff filed a Form I-485 with U.S. 1 application remains pending due to a hold placed upon it by Defendants pursuant to 2 USCIS policy 1 which allows the government to hold for future exemption consideration 3 the applications of individuals who are otherwise inadmissible for having engaged in 4 terrorist activity. 8 U.S.C. § 1182 (a)(3)(B)(i)(I). On January 5, 2015, Plaintiff filed a 5 “Complaint for Writ in the Nature of Mandamus Verified Complaint for a Writ in the 6 Nature of Mandamus” (Doc.1). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants have unreasonably 7 delayed the processing of his adjustment application and requests that the Court require 8 federal agents to process to a conclusion Plaintiff’s application for adjustment of status to 9 permanent resident. Defendants filed an Answer (Doc. 16). All issues are joined. 10 II. FACTS 11 Until July 7, 1995 and while Plaintiff lived in Iran, Plaintiff distributed fliers and 12 pamphlets critical of the Iranian government. As part of his refugee application in a 13 translated sworn statement dated August 22, 2001, Plaintiff describes his “political 14 activities” in Iran as receiving and distributing pamphlets, newspapers, and articles with 15 his friend Farhad Zandi and Mehran Bor. (Doc. 29 at 25-27). The literature distributed 16 by Plaintiff was critical of the Iranian government. 17 “connection to other member (sic) of the MOJAHEDIN party.” (Id. at 26). Because 18 Mehran Bor “had given the name of memebers (sic) of the Mojahedin party to the secret 19 police,” Plaintiff went into hiding. (Id.). He thereafter fled Iran with a false passport. 20 Plaintiff immigrated to Germany, converted to Christianity, and sought refugee status in 21 the United States. Mehran Bor was Plaintiff’s 22 In Plaintiff’s interview dated August 22, 2001 with Immigration and 23 Naturalization Services (“INS”) Officer Scott Miller, Officer Miller noted that Plaintiff 24 25 26 27 28 1 The Deputy Director of USCIS issued a series of memoranda providing guidance regarding cases involving inadmissibility pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act (“CAA”), 8 U.S.C.§ 1182(a)(3)(B). (Doc. 24-1 at 9-10). The memoranda instructed adjudicators to withhold adjudication of cases that could potentially benefit from the exercise of the Secretary of Homeland Security’s (“DHS”) discretionary authority under the CAA. The Deputy Director specifically instructed that applications be held for applicants deemed inadmissible due to Tier III terrorist organization activity. (Id.). -2- 1 was active in the distribution of fliers or pamphlets “given by the Majahadeen (sic).” (Id. 2 at 42). Officer Miller found Plaintiff’s testimony to be credible and found Plaintiff to be 3 a refugee as defined by law. Plaintiff was granted refugee status and admitted to the 4 United States in 2005. 5 Two years after immigrating to the United States as a refugee, Plaintiff sought 6 adjustment of his citizenship status to that of a permanent resident by filing the 7 appropriate application, Form I-485. Plaintiff submitted all information required by the 8 application. Pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 209.2, USCIS has completed its review process, 9 including (i) a Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) fingerprint check, (ii) a check 10 against the DHS-managed Interagency Border Inspection System (“IBIS”), and (iii) an 11 FBI name check. At some date undisclosed to the Court, USCIS placed a hold on 12 Plaintiff’s adjustment application due to the information contained in Plaintiff’s refugee 13 application regarding Plaintiff’s distribution of literature critical of the Khomeini regime 14 which Plaintiff received from the Mujahidin-e Khalq Organization (“MEK”). On the 15 basis of the information contained in Plaintiff’s refugee application, USCIS found that 16 Plaintiff engaged in activity which materially supported the MEK. 17 Until 2012 when the U.S. State Department removed the MEK from its list of 18 Foreign Terrorist Organizations and while Plaintiff distributed fliers in Iran, the United 19 States considered the MEK to be a terrorist organization as defined by 8 U.S.C. § 1189. 20 Though the MEK was not officially designated as a foreign terrorist organization until 21 October 8, 1997, the MEK’s activities prior to its designation qualified the MEK to be an 22 undesignated, or Tier III, terrorist organization. Defendants assert that by distributing 23 pamphlets for the MEK, Plaintiff provided material support to a terrorist organization. 24 Because Defendants have concluded from a review of Plaintiff’s refugee application that 25 Plaintiff provided material support to a terrorist organization, Defendants placed a hold 26 on Plaintiff’s application for adjustment of status to permanent resident pursuant to 27 internal policy. 28 -3- 1 The hold on Plaintiff’s application for adjustment of citizenship status is 2 indefinite. By placing a hold on Plaintiff’s application, DHS can consider Plaintiff for 3 future discretionary exemptions to terrorist-related inadmissibility grounds. 4 Defendants to adjudicate Plaintiff’s application at this time, Defendants state that 5 Plaintiff’s application likely would be denied on the basis of inadmissibility for terrorist 6 activity. Therefore, Defendants argue that the hold is benign and may inure to Plaintiff’s 7 benefit at some indeterminate time in the future. There are currently approximately 2,800 8 pending I-485 adjustment of citizenship status applications involving Tier III terrorist 9 organizations placed on hold for determination of exemption eligibility. Whether DHS 10 will exercise its authority to exempt Plaintiff from terrorist inadmissibility grounds is 11 discretionary with DHS. The USCIS has not yet determined whether MEK meets the 12 qualifications of the exemption or whether Plaintiff will be eligible for consideration 13 under this exercise of the exemption authority. Defendants have provided no timeline 14 within which these determinations will be made. Were 15 In Plaintiff’s affidavit dated August 4, 2015, Plaintiff contests the accuracy of his 16 translated sworn statement contained in his refugee application. Plaintiff denies knowing 17 that the literature critical of the Khomeini regime which Plaintiff distributed in Iran was 18 from or for the MEK. Plaintiff denies having been a member or supporter of the MEK. 19 He denies knowing the political affiliation of Mehran Bor, and he denies that his friends 20 were members of the MEK. Finally, Plaintiff denies any intent to support a terrorist 21 organization, terrorist activity, or violence. Therefore, Plaintiff does not believe that his 22 application should be denied, and he seeks final adjudication of it. 23 24 III. LEGAL STANDARDS 25 1. Summary Judgment 26 Summary judgment is appropriate if the evidence, when reviewed in a light most 27 favorable to the non-moving party, demonstrates “that there is no genuine dispute as to 28 any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. -4- 1 P. 56(a). Substantive law determines which facts are material in a case and “only 2 disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under governing law will 3 properly preclude the entry of summary judgment.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 4 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). “A fact issue is genuine ‘if the evidence is such that a reasonable 5 jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.’” Villiarimo v. Aloha Island Air, 6 Inc., 281 F.3d 1054, 1061 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). Thus, the 7 nonmoving party must show that the genuine factual issues “‘can be resolved only by a 8 finder of fact because they may reasonably be resolved in favor of either party.’” Cal. 9 Architectural Bldg. Prods., Inc. v. Franciscan Ceramics, Inc., 818 F.2d 1466, 1468 (9th 10 Cir. 1987) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250). 11 Because “[c]redibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the 12 drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge . . . 13 [t]he evidence of the nonmovant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be 14 drawn in his favor” at the summary judgment stage. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255 (citing 15 Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970)); Harris v. Itzhaki, 183 F.3d 16 1043, 1051 (9th Cir. 1999) (“Issues of credibility, including questions of intent, should be 17 left to the jury.”) (citations omitted). 18 When moving for summary judgment, the burden of proof initially rests with the 19 moving party to present the basis for his motion and to identify those portions of the 20 record and affidavits that he believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of 21 material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). If the movant fails 22 to carry his initial burden of production, the non-movant need not produce anything 23 further. The motion for summary judgment would then fail. However, if the movant 24 meets his initial burden of production, then the burden shifts to the non-moving party to 25 show that a genuine issue of material fact exists and that the movant is not entitled to 26 judgment as a matter of law. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248, 250; Triton Energy Corp. v. 27 Square D. Co., 68 F.3d 1216, 1221 (9th Cir. 1995). The nonmovant need not establish a 28 material issue of fact conclusively in his favor. First Nat’l Bank of Ariz. v. Cities Serv. -5- 1 Co., 391 U.S. 253, 288-89 (1968). However, he must “come forward with specific facts 2 showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v.Zenith 3 Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (internal citation and emphasis omitted); see Fed. 4 R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1). 5 Finally, conclusory allegations unsupported by factual material are insufficient to 6 defeat a motion for summary judgment. Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 7 1989); see also Soremekun v. Thrifty Payless, Inc., 502 F.3d 978, 984 (9th Cir. 2007) 8 (“[c]onclusory, speculative testimony in affidavits and moving papers is insufficient to 9 raise genuine issues of fact and defeat summary judgment”). Nor can such allegations be 10 the basis for a motion for summary judgment. 11 2. Adjustment of Citizenship Status for Refugees 12 Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1159(a)(1), an alien granted refugee status who has been 13 physically present in the United States for one year and is admissible may apply for 14 adjustment of his citizenship status to permanent resident. USCIS “has jurisdiction to 15 adjudicate an application for adjustment of status filed by an alien . . . .” 8 C.F.R. § 16 245.2(a)(1). “The decision may be favorable or unfavorable, but a decision must be 17 made.” Wang v. Chertoff, No. CIV 07-077-TUC-GEE, 2007 WL 4200672, at *2 (D. 18 Ariz. Nov. 27, 2007). Neither the statute nor the regulations governing the refugee 19 adjustment of status process delineate a time frame within which USCIS must adjudicate 20 a Form I-485 application for adjustment of status. See 8 U.S.C.§ 1159(a)(1); 8 C.F.R. § 21 209.1. 22 Plaintiff bears the burden of proving admissibility. See 8 C.F.R. § 209.2. 23 Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)(i)(I), an alien is inadmissible if he “has engaged in 24 terrorist activity,” which includes providing material support to a terrorist organization. 25 See 8 U.S.C. §§ 1182 (a)(3)(iv) (defining “engage in terrorist activity”), 1182 26 (a)(3)(B)(iii) (defining terrorist activity), 1182 (a)(3)(B)(iv) (defining “tiers” of terrorist 27 organizations). 28 Although not officially listed by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Terrorist -6- 1 Organization until 1997, it is undisputed that the MEK was considered to be an 2 undesignated, or Tier III, terrorist organization by the United States government at all 3 times relevant to this action. 8 U.S.C. §1189; see also Bojnoordi v. Holder, 757 F. 3d 4 1075, 1077-78 (9th Cir. 2014) (holding that “the statutory terrorism bar applies 5 retroactively to an alien’s material support of a ‘Tier III’ terrorist organization”). 6 Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, Pub.L. 110-161, 121 Stat 1844 7 (December 26, 2007) (“CAA”), the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of 8 State have the discretionary authority to exempt terrorist-related inadmissibility grounds 9 related to aliens seeking an adjustment of status as well as to exempt undesignated or Tier 10 III terrorist organizations from being considered terrorist organizations. See 8 U.S.C.§ 11 1182 (d)(3)(B)(i). The MEK is not one of the ten listed exempt terrorist organizations in 12 the CAA. The process by which discretionary exemption authority is weighed and 13 decided necessitates careful consultation among the Secretary of Homeland Security, the 14 Secretary of State, and the Attorney General regarding issues of national security and 15 foreign policy, as well as humanitarian concerns. Id. Despite the laborious nature of the 16 exemption process, the Secretary of DHS and the Secretary of State have issued 18,296 17 discretionary exemptions in cases involving terrorist related inadmissibility grounds 18 between 2006 and June 2014. (Doc. 24-1 at 12). 19 3. Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) 20 The APA provides that any “person suffering legal wrong because of agency 21 action, or adversely affected or aggrieved by agency action within the meaning of a 22 relevant statute, is entitled to judicial review thereof.” 5 U.S.C. § 702. “Agency action” 23 includes the failure of an agency to act. 5 U.S.C.§ 551(13). Agencies are required to 24 conclude matters pending before them in a “reasonable” time. 5 U.S.C. § 555(b). Courts 25 may “compel agency action unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed.” 5 U.S.C.§ 26 706 (1). Under the APA, Plaintiff bears the burden of proving that an agency “failed to 27 take a discrete agency action that it is required to take.” Norton v. Southern Utah 28 -7- 1 Wilderness Alliance, 542 U.S. 55, 64 (2004). 2 2 To determine if an agency has unreasonably delayed action on a matter before it, 3 the Ninth Circuit has adopted a six-factor test, or the TRAC factors, in assessing whether 4 relief under the APA is appropriate. See Telecommunications Research & Action v. FCC 5 (“TRAC”), 750 F. 2d 70, 80 (D.C. Cir. 1984); Brower v. Evans, 257 F. 3d 1058, 1068 (9th 6 Cir. 2001). The Court must balance all six factors. They are: 7 (1) the time agencies take to make decisions must be governed by a rule of reason, (2) where Congress has provided a timetable or other indication of the speed with which it expects the agency to proceed in the enabling statute, that statutory scheme may supply content for this rule of reason, (3) delays that might be reasonable in the sphere of economic regulation are less tolerable when human health and welfare are at stake; (4) the court should consider the effect of expediting delayed action on agency activities of a higher or competing priority, (5) the court should also take into account the nature and extent of the interests prejudiced by delay, and (6) the court need not find any impropriety lurking behind agency lassitude in order to hold that agency action is unreasonably delayed. 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 TRAC, 750 F. 2d at 80 (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). IV. DISCUSSION 18 19 20 21 22 23 While the ultimate decision by the government to grant or deny a refugee’s application for adjustment of citizenship status is discretionary, the speed by which the government does so is not. See Hassan v. Chertoff, 593 F. 3d 785, 788-89 (9th Cir. 2010) (finding that under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(B)(ii) the court lacks jurisdiction to review the government’s denial of an application for adjustment of status); Beyene v. Napolitano, 24 25 26 27 28 2 Plaintiff seeks relief under the APA, 5 U.S.C.§ 706; the Mandamus and Venue Act (“MVA”), 28 U.S.C.§ 1361; and the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C.§ 1651. The Supreme Court has construed a claim for writ of mandamus “in essence” as a claim for relief under the APA, as the relief sought is essentially the same under each statutory scheme. See Independence Min. Co., Inc. v. Babbitt, 105 F. 3d 502, 507 (9th Cir. 1997) (citing Japan Whaling Ass’n v. American Cetacean Soc’y, 478 U.S. 221, 230 n. 4 (1986)). Therefore, the Court analyzes Plaintiff’s claim under the APA. -8- 1 No. C12-01149 WHA, 2012 WL 2911838, at *3 (N.D. Cal. July 13, 2012) (finding that 2 the “pace of adjudicating an adjustment application” is not discretionary). “Indeed, many 3 courts in the Ninth Circuit have determined, after Hassan, that federal courts have 4 jurisdiction to review the government’s failure to adjudicate a status adjustment 5 application.” Khan v. Johnson, 65 F. Supp. 3d 918, 924 (C.D. Cal. 2014) (concluding 6 that the government has a nondiscretionary duty to adjudicate adjustment of status 7 applications within a reasonable time); see also Kashkool v. Chertoff, 553 F. Supp. 2d 8 1131, 1141-42 (D. Ariz. 2008) (finding that “pace at which USCIS adjudicates I-485 9 applications is nondiscretionary” and mandamus jurisdiction exists). The Court finds that 10 Defendants have a nondiscretionary duty to decide Plaintiff’s Form I-485 application 11 within a reasonable period of time. See Islam v. Heinauer, 32 F. Supp. 3d 1063, 1069 12 (N.D. Cal. 2014) (“Islam II”). 13 mandated by law. See Singh v. Still, 470 F. Supp. 2d 1064, 1067 (N.D. Cal. 2007); 14 Wang, 2007 WL 4200672, at *3 (finding that “[t]he timing of the adjudication process is 15 not a matter over which the USCIS has unfettered discretion.”). Defendants may not indefinitely delay a decision 16 The Court will analyze each TRAC factor in determining whether there are 17 genuine issues of material fact regarding the reasonableness of the time Defendants have 18 spent failing to act on Plaintiff’s adjustment of citizenship status application. 19 1. First Factor: Rule of Reason 20 It is undisputed that nine years have passed since Plaintiff filed his Form I-485 21 with USCIS. “[M]any courts applying the TRAC factors have declined to find that 22 delays exceeding six years are reasonable.” Islam II, 32 F. Supp. 3d at 1072; see also 23 Khan, 65 F. Supp. 3d at 929 (citing Ninth Circuit cases which have found delays of less 24 than four years to be reasonable, but six years or more to be unreasonable). A delay of 25 nine years weighs in Plaintiff’s favor. However, the Court must also consider the source 26 of the delay. See Mugomoke v. Curda, No. 2:10-cv-02166 KJM DAD, 2012 WL 113800, 27 at *4 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 13, 2012) (“length of delay alone is not dispositive”); Singh, 470 F. 28 Supp. 2d at 1068 (courts also look to “source of the delay”). -9- 1 It is undisputed that Plaintiff provided all the necessary paperwork for his 2 application. It is also undisputed that Defendants are unable to estimate the time within 3 which they will decide the application due to the nature of the hold they have placed upon 4 it. The hold could well be never-ending. Though the hold may ultimately benefit 5 Plaintiff, and despite the deliberative process necessitated by Defendants’ policy and the 6 exemption statute itself, the Court finds that holding the application indefinitely for the 7 consideration of an exemption that may or may not come to pass at some future date does 8 not comport with a rule of reason. Therefore, the Court concludes that the first TRAC 9 factor tips in Plaintiff’s favor. 10 2. Second Factor: Statutory Timetable 11 There is no statutorily mandated timetable for adjudicating Form I-485 12 applications. See 8 U.S.C. § 1159(a); 8 C.F.R. § 209.1. However, there is a non-binding 13 congressional policy statement that “[i]t is the sense of Congress that the processing of an 14 immigration benefit application should be completed not later than 180 days after the 15 initial filing of an application.” 8 U.S.C.§ 1571(b). While the Court finds this statute to 16 be instructive, the second TRAC factor only slightly favors Plaintiff. See Khan, 65 F. 17 Supp. 3d at 930 (synthesizing cases which found the “sense of Congress” to be highly 18 relevant but finding the second TRAC factor to be of “little consequence”). 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3. Third and Fifth Factors: Human Health and Welfare and the Interests Prejudiced by the Delay Because the third and fifth TRAC factors overlap, they are analyzed here together. This case involves human health and welfare, rendering “delays that might be reasonable in the sphere of economic regulation . . . less tolerable . . . .” TRAC, 750 F.2d at 80. Plaintiff continues to “sit in limbo” as he awaits the adjudication of his request for change of citizenship status. (Doc. 30 at 4). Plaintiff alleges that he is “unable to stabilize his life in the United States because his lack of permanent resident status leaves him feeling insecure and anxious. He has lost work time and opportunities and a life of normalcy because of his lack of permanent status.” (Doc. 1 at 5). Plaintiff’s interests in finality are significant. - 10 - 1 However, Defendants argue that Plaintiff’s ability to work and travel remains 2 unimpeded. Defendants stress that Plaintiff’s application will likely be denied if decided 3 now, whereas an exemption could benefit Plaintiff in the future. Therefore, Defendants 4 argue that the delay created by the adjudication hold does not prejudice Plaintiff, but 5 rather merely inconveniences him. 6 (presuming a plaintiff knows consequences of denial of application and infers harm of 7 delay is significant). But see Mugomoke, 2012 WL 113800, at *5 8 The Court also recognizes that national security interests in a case such as this are 9 high, and Defendants’ interests in fully complying with the congressional mandates of the 10 CAA and USCIS policy are compelling. Therefore, balancing the competing interests of 11 all parties, the Court concludes that the third and fifth TRAC factors do not weigh heavily 12 in either side’s favor. See Khan, 65 F. Supp. 3d at 931 (concurring with the reasoning of 13 the Court in Islam II, 32 F. Supp. 3d at 1073, which found in the case of a former Tier III 14 terrorist organization member “important interests at stake for both parties” and that 15 “these factors do not weigh heavily in either party’s favor”). 16 4. Fourth Factor: Effect of Expediting Delayed Action 17 The fourth TRAC factor requires the Court to consider the effect of requiring an 18 agency to expedite its delayed action on the agency’s activities of a higher or competing 19 priority. TRAC, 750 F. 2d at 80. Defendants argue that expediting adjudication of 20 Plaintiff’s delayed application infringes upon Defendants’ exercise of discretionary 21 exemption authority. 22 adjudicate a Form I-485 application does not dictate to Defendants how or whether to 23 exercise the exemption authority. Nor is Plaintiff seeking to change USCIS policy. 24 Plaintiff merely seeks a final determination made within a reasonable period of time. 25 Therefore, the Court finds that this factor tips in Plaintiff’s favor. See Islam II, 32 F. 26 Supp. 3d at 1074 (finding the fourth factor favored Plaintiff); Qureshi v. Napolitano, No. 27 C-11-05814, 2012 WL 2503828, at *4 (N.D. Cal. June 28, 2012) (weighing fourth factor 28 in plaintiff’s favor because plaintiff did not seek to force the application of an exemption However, the Court finds that requiring Defendants to timely - 11 - 1 or a change in USCIS policy). 2 5. Sixth Factor: Bad Faith 3 The sixth TRAC factor cautions that “the Court need not find any impropriety 4 lurking behind agency lassitude.” 5 interpreted as requiring the Court to determine whether any impropriety or bad faith has 6 caused an agency’s delay. See Khan, 65 F. Supp. at 932. It is undisputed that Defendants 7 have processed to conclusion thousands of exemption authorizations in factually similar 8 cases under USCIS policy. 9 analysis among agencies. There is no evidence presented of bad faith or impropriety 10 driving the delay in adjudication of Plaintiff’s application. Therefore, the Court finds that 11 the sixth factor weighs in Defendants’ favor. TRAC, 750 F.2d at 80. This factor has been The exemption process is laborious, requiring detailed 12 13 V. CONCLUSION 14 Because the Court finds on balance that several TRAC factors favor Plaintiff, 15 several are neutral, and one tips in favor of Defendants, genuine issues of material fact 16 exist as to the reasonableness of the delay necessitated by Defendants’ hold on Plaintiff’s 17 I-485 application. Therefore, Defendants are not entitled to judgment as a matter of law. 18 19 20 IT IS ORDERED denying Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 24). Dated this 21st day of January, 2016. 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 - 12 -

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?