Immigration Court Hearing Changes Continue

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Immigration Court Hearing Changes Continue

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On January 28, 2021, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR or the “Immigration Court”) announced that it will continue to postpone non-detained hearings without a lawyer through February 7, 2022, in response to active cases and community transmission of COVID-19. Non-detained cases with a lawyer or representative of record, however, will continue as scheduled.

Certain other cases will also proceed as scheduled: detained cases, including bond requests and custody redeterminations; non-detained cases without a lawyer or representative of record who wish to proceed; and cases of individuals outside the United States who are enrolled in the Migrant Protection Protocols (aka, the “Remain in Mexico” program).

In addition to these agency-wide postponements, the Denver Immigration Court continues to operate on an “A/B” schedule until further notice. Under this schedule, Immigration Judges are proceeding on scheduled merits hearings on an alternating basis by week (in other words, certain Judges are “Week A” and others are “Week B,” and they switch back and forth). Therefore, persons in removal proceedings should continue to work with their legal team to prepare their case for their final hearing, but understand that their hearing could be cancelled with little notice if their case happens to fall during a week in which their scheduled judge is not holding hearings.

The Notice of Hearing remains the best information regarding the date and time of the hearing.

However, while EOIR will continue to mail notices to all parties who are affected by hearing postponements and cancellations, some parties may not receive the mailed notice of postponement, cancellation, or rescheduling in advance of hearing.

Due to the ever-changing nature of Immigration Court proceedings as the court and practitioners navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, if you are represented by a lawyer and have a case in Immigration Court, it is vital that you keep your current contact information up-to-date with your lawyer and/or the paralegal assigned to your case so that your lawyer can communicate with you about any changes to your case. In addition, you are required to keep your contact information up-to-date with the Immigration Court so that you receive any notices of hearing scheduling, cancellations, or rescheduling for your case. If you are represented by Joseph & Hall, your legal team will ensure that any changes in information are updated with the court on your behalf, but we must know about them in order to do so.  Additionally, because failure to attend an Immigration Court hearing typically results in an in absentia order of removal from the United States, and failure to update your information with the court is not an excuse for missing a hearing, it is extremely important to keep this information updated.

This information is intended for educational purposes only. If you have questions about your particular case, please contact Joseph & Hall at (303) 297-9171 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. If you are already a client of Joseph & Hall and have questions about your case, please contact your attorney to discuss your particular case.

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