SCOTUS rules on Ubiquitous NTAs Issued with Date and Time TBD

by William M Stevens

On June 21, the US Supreme Court ruled on the common practice of the government issuing notices to appear in immigration court, known as an NTA, or by it's form number, I-862. The NTA is very often issued with a date and time listed as TBD (to be determined).

In the June 21 decision, the court was ruling on the defective NTA's inability to stop the clock for time to accrue for the 10 year continuous presence defense against removal. While many may find this helpful in their cases against immigration, this ruling could have other effects, because the decision was quite clear that the plain wording in the statute, 8 U. S. C. §1229(a), requires the notice to give "[t]he time and place at which the [removal] proceedings will be held." §1229(a)(1)(G)(i).

Because this requirement is true for all NTAs, it has the potential to affect many immigration cases pending or closed at USCIS, because USCIS will issue an NTA with date and time TBD, and then use their own NTA to claim that jurisdiction has passed from DHS to DOJ. This practice may now be called into question under the same logic as that for tolling the continuous presence clock.

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