Immigration Writs

Top Attorneys Handling Immigration Writs in Las Vegas, Reno, Los Angeles and Throughout The United States

Federal courts and judges have tremendous power and authority. Although federal courts have limited jurisdiction, they have the power to hold the Executive branch of the United States government accountable. They also have the power to preside over cases that involve violations of a person’s Constitutional rights.

A writ is simply a formal word used to describe a petition filed with a court seeking a declaration and order from the court commanding a particular action. In the context of immigration cases, there are three types of “Writs” that a knowledgeable attorney can use for the benefit of a client.

Writ Of Coram Nobis

A Writ of Coram Nobis is an extraordinary remedy that allows a person convicted of a crime to petition a federal court asking that his or her conviction be set aside because it was obtained in violation Constitutional rights. Under a writ of coram nobis, a federal court can vacate a judgment of conviction and sentence.

As a starting point, a writ of coram nobis must be filed in the court in which the conviction was rendered. A writ of coram nobis is not a substitute for an appeal. Once all remedies have been exhausted in that court, a petition for writ of coram nobis can be filed in federal court.

In the immigration context, a writ of coram nobis can be employed even when a person has served his or her sentence and has been released from custody but is prejudiced by collateral consequences associated with the sentence – for example, the risk of deportation. A writ of coram nobis can be used to challenge ineffective assistance of counsel.

Writ Of Habeas Corpus

A Writ of Habeas Corpus is utilized to bring a detainee before a federal court to determine if the person’s incarceration or detention is lawful. A habeas corpus action is considered a civil proceeding and is brought against the person overseeing the person’s detention (state or federal agent). A writ can be used to examine any extradition proceedings, amount of bail and the jurisdiction of the court ordering detention.

A writ of habeas corpus can be filed with a federal court by a person who objects to his or her own detention or the detention of another person. The writ must demonstrate that the court ordering detention in the first instance made a legal or factual error. Most commonly, habeas petitions are filed by prisoners post-conviction serving prison sentences.

Under federal statutes, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2256, a habeas petition requires (1) the person on whose behalf federal review is sought must be in custody when the petition is filed and (2) the detainee or prisoner must have exhausted all state remedies where the detention or incarceration that is challenged is based upon state action.

A writ of habeas is considered an extraordinary remedy because it gives a federal court the power and authority to order the release of a detainee/prisoner.

Writ Of Mandamus

A Writ of Mandamus is a useful device when the government is delaying making a decision that it is otherwise required to make. Immigration authorities have a mandatory legal duty to make decisions on all immigration applications.

Unfortunately, however, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service or “USCIS” can, and often does, prolong making decisions wreaking havoc in immigrants lives. Most commonly, delays occur in the context of citizenship applications or applications to adjust status based upon marriage.

While an applicant can send USCIS a “Notice of Intention To File for a Writ of Mandamus And Declaratory Relief” prior to actually filing the writ, there is no requirement to do so. Filing a writ of mandamus in federal court will generally force action because the writ requests that the federal court order the agency to make a decision. More often than not, simply filing the writ will cause the agency to do something in the absence of any legal justification for its dilatory conduct.

All three writs discussed above are very powerful tools that if used creatively and effectively can deliver powerful results.

The Federal Defenders, By Paul Padda Law is a law firm dedicated to practicing in federal courts throughout the country. Accordingly, there are few law firms better equipped to help you or your loved one achieve justice through filing a writ than The Federal Defenders.

Whether you’re in Las Vegas, Reno, Los Angeles or anywhere else in the country, find out how The Federal Defenders can help.

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