Jeff Joseph had the first of what we hope will be a string of victories in a pro bono case for his client who is currently in Sanctuary in a church in Denver. Ingrid Encalada is from Peru. She entered the U.S. at age 17 and is now 33. She has a 8 year and 18 month old US citizen kid.
In 2010, she was arrested for using false documents and on the bad advice of her attorney, plead guilty to criminal impersonation which made her deportable and ineligible for cancellation of removal. She appealed the case and the appeal was dismissed in 2016. She then hired another attorney to try and withdraw her guilty plea. That attorney failed to show up for the hearing and the judge denied her postconviction motion to withdraw her guilty plea. She filed a stay with ICE that was denied.
Because she was subject to a final order and the stay was denied, she entered sanctuary in the Quaker church and has remained there for the past 5 months.
We agreed to take her case on pro bono. On May 3rd, she had her first hearing with the criminal court. The purpose of this hearing was to prove that her second attorney was ineffective when he failed to show to court.
Not only did the judge grant this motion, but found that the previous attorney was in contempt and that he intends on fining that attorney the fees and costs necessary for Ingrid to file a second postconviction motion.
Attending this hearing meant that Ingrid had to come out of sanctuary to attend. It took a lot of courage knowing she could be arrested and sent back to Peru.
But it was successful and she is now safely back in the church. We now proceed to another hearing as to whether her initial attorney was ineffective when he recommended the plea to criminal impersonation.
The case has made national news. Here are some of the clippings.
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