Case: Mocanu v. Mueller

2:07-cv-00445 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: Feb. 1, 2007

Closed Date: March 20, 2008

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Nearly three years after applying for naturalization, plaintiff had still not received an appointment to be interviewed for citizenship, the next step in his naturalization process. On February 1, 2007, represented by private counsel, plaintiff petitioned the U.S. District Court for the district of Pennsylvania to compel U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) to schedule him for an interview and to render a decision on his citizenship application within thirty days. The case was assigned…

Nearly three years after applying for naturalization, plaintiff had still not received an appointment to be interviewed for citizenship, the next step in his naturalization process. On February 1, 2007, represented by private counsel, plaintiff petitioned the U.S. District Court for the district of Pennsylvania to compel U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) to schedule him for an interview and to render a decision on his citizenship application within thirty days. The case was assigned to District Court Judge Michael M. Baylson.

Administratively, plaintiff was in a complicated position: under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1101, et. seq, naturalization applicants have a right to petition the district courts if their application is denied or if they do not receive a response within 120 days of their interview. Here, as the plaintiff had never actually received an interview, he met neither requirement, leaving him in an application limbo. Therefore, plaintiff asked the courts to consider the extended delay a constructive denial of his application and to invoke its right to review under the INA. Alternatively, plaintiff suggested that the court might invoke either the Administrative Procedure Act or its mandamus powers to compel USCIS to perform its duty of conducting citizenship appointments.

In January 2018, the court became aware that it had six nearly identical cases, including this one, and held a hearing on all cases simultaneously. In a following memorandum and order, the court suggested that the government, "overwhelmed by these applications, ha(d) adopted a strategy of favoring delay by litigation, instead of developing an orderly and transparent administrative resolution." The court recommended that all six plaintiffs cross-file for summary judgment and enjoined the USCIS from preemptively resolving any of their immigration cases, thus mooting the cases, before a final judgment could be filed.

One month later, the court granted the plaintiffs' motions for summary judgment, finding that the FBI name check procedure which had delayed their applications was not authorized by statute and was thus reviewable as an administrative procedure.

USCIS filed an emergency motion to stay the order and was denied. Plaintiff was naturalized on March 12, 2008, at which point the parties agreed to dismiss the case as moot. The court entered the stipulated order of dismissal on March 20, 2008. The case is closed.

Summary Authors

Mike Fagan (7/2/2008)

Sean Drohan (6/13/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4741821/parties/mocanu-v-mueller/


Judge(s)

Baylson, Michael M. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Kaplan, David (Pennsylvania)

Orlow, James (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cherico, Colin Michael (Pennsylvania)

Gibson, Virginia A. (District of Columbia)

Stevens, Elizabeth Jones (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Baylson, Michael M. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Kaplan, David (Pennsylvania)

Orlow, James (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cherico, Colin Michael (Pennsylvania)

Gibson, Virginia A. (District of Columbia)

Stevens, Elizabeth Jones (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

March 20, 2008 Docket
1

Complaint and Petition for Hearing on Naturalization

Feb. 1, 2007 Complaint
7

Memorandum

2007 WL 2916192

Oct. 4, 2007 Order/Opinion
19

Memorandum and Order

2008 WL 154606

Jan. 14, 2008 Order/Opinion
28

Memorandum Re: Cross Motions for Summary Judgment

2008 WL 372459

Feb. 8, 2008 Order/Opinion
35

Voluntary Stipulation of Dismissal

March 20, 2008 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4741821/mocanu-v-mueller/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against ROBERT S. MUELLER, UNKNOWN US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR AGENCIES, MICHAEL CHERTOFF, EMILIO GONZALEZ, DONALD MONICA ( Filing fee $ 350 receipt number 936463.), filed by VICTOR MOCANU.(cw, ) (Entered: 02/02/2007)

Feb. 1, 2007 RECAP

Summons Issued as to ROBERT S. MUELLER, MICHAEL CHERTOFF, EMILIO GONZALEZ, DONALD MONICA, One Given to U.S. Attorney and Five Forwarded To: Counsel on 2/2/07 (cw, )

Feb. 1, 2007 PACER
2

Disclosure Statement Form pursuant to FRCP 7.1 by VICTOR MOCANU.(cw, ) (britb, ). (Entered: 02/02/2007)

Feb. 1, 2007 PACER
3

Acceptance of Service by U.S. Attorney, Re: accepted summons and complaint for ROBERT S. MUELLER on 2/2/2007, answer due 4/3/2007; MICHAEL CHERTOFF on 2/2/2007, answer due 4/3/2007; EMILIO GONZALEZ on 2/2/2007, answer due 4/3/2007; DONALD MONICA on 2/2/2007, answer due 4/3/2007. (kw, ) (britb, ). (Entered: 02/05/2007)

Feb. 2, 2007 PACER
4

MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction filed by ROBERT S. MUELLER, UNKNOWN US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR AGENCIES, MICHAEL CHERTOFF, EMILIO GONZALEZ, DONALD MONICA.Memorandum, Certificate of Service.(CHERICO, COLIN) (Entered: 03/29/2007)

March 29, 2007 PACER
5

Petitioner's Opposition to Government Motion to Dismiss filed by VICTOR MOCANU. Certificate of Service. (stb, ) (Entered: 06/28/2007)

June 28, 2007 PACER
6

NOTICE of Hearing:PRETRIAL TELEPHONE CONFERENCE SET FOR 11/14/2007 04:45 PM IN JUDGE'S CHAMBERS BEFORE HONORABLE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON; PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL TO INITIATE. (Attachments: # 1 # 2)(ltm, ) (Entered: 10/04/2007)

Oct. 4, 2007 PACER
7

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER THAT DEFTS' MOTION TO DISMISS IS DENIED. SIGNED BY JUDGE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON ON 10/3/07. 10/5/07 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED: COPIES FAXED BY CHAMBERS ON 10/4/07.(kw, ) (Entered: 10/05/2007)

Oct. 4, 2007 RECAP
8

AMENDED NOTICE of Hearing:PRETRIAL TELEPHONE CONFERENCE SET FOR 11/20/2007 04:30 PM IN JUDGE'S CHAMBERS BEFORE HONORABLE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON; PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL TO INITIATE.(ltm, ) (Entered: 11/02/2007)

Nov. 2, 2007 PACER
9

ANSWER to Complaint by ROBERT S. MUELLER, UNKNOWN US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR AGENCIES, MICHAEL CHERTOFF, EMILIO GONZALEZ, DONALD MONICA with Affirmative Defenses, Certificate of Service. (CHERICO, COLIN) Modified on 11/19/2007 (nd). (Entered: 11/16/2007)

Nov. 16, 2007 PACER
10

SCHEDULING ORDER THAT DISCOVERY DUE BY 1/15/2008. JUDGE STRAWBRIDGE WILL CONTACT COUNSEL AS TO WHETHER SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS HAVE TAKEN PLACE AND TO SCHEDULE A SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE. DISPOSITIVE MOTIONS DUE BY 1/31/2008. TRIAL POOL SET FOR 3/3/2008.SIGNED BY JUDGE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON ON 11/26/07. 11/27/07 ENTERED AND COPIES FAXED.(rf, ) (Entered: 11/27/2007)

Nov. 26, 2007 PACER
11

NOTICE of Hearing: TELEPHONE CONFERENCE RE: CASE STATUS AND POSSIBLE SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE DATE SET FOR 11/30/2007 09:15 AM BEFORE MAGISTRATE JUDGE DAVID R. STRAWBRIDGE. COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF DIRECTED TO INITIATE THE CALL.(lds, ) (Entered: 11/27/2007)

Nov. 27, 2007 PACER

Set/Reset Hearings: TELEPHONE CONFERENCE RE: CASE STATUS AND POSSIBLE SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE DATE SET FOR 11/30/2007 AT 9:30 AM BEFORE MAGISTRATE JUDGE DAVID R. STRAWBRIDGE. COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF DIRECTED TO INITIATE THE CALL.(md)

Nov. 27, 2007 PACER
12

Minute Entry/Report of Pretrial Telephone Conference for proceedings held before Judge MICHAEL M. BAYLSON on 11/20/07. (kw, ) (Entered: 11/30/2007)

Nov. 29, 2007 PACER
13

Minute Entry, re: A Telephone Conference for proceedings held before MAGISTRATE JUDGE DAVID R. STRAWBRIDGE on 11/30/07. (kw, ) (Entered: 12/11/2007)

Dec. 10, 2007 PACER
14

MEMORANDUM ORDER THAT THE COURT WILL HOLD A PRETRIAL CONFERENCE ON ALL THREE CASES ON 1/8/2008 AT 4:00 P.M. IN COURTROOM 3A. SIGNED BY HONORABLE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON ON 12/21/07. 12/24/07 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(kw, ) (Entered: 12/24/2007)

Dec. 21, 2007 RECAP

Set/Reset Hearings: PRETRIAL CONFERENCE SET FOR 1/8/2008 04:00 PM BEFORE HONORABLE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON. (kw, )

Dec. 21, 2007 PACER
15

Minute Entry, re: Argument regarding delaying processing naturalization application held before HONORABLE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON on 1/8/08. Hearing scheduled for 1/22/08. (kw, ) (Entered: 01/09/2008)

Jan. 9, 2008 PACER
16

NOTICE by VICTOR MOCANU Entry of Appearance by David Kaplan for Plaintiff, and Certificate of Service (ORLOW, JAMES) (Entered: 01/10/2008)

Jan. 10, 2008 PACER
17

TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings held on 1/8/08. (ESR) (See Original filing in 07-4747, Paper #10) (kw, ) (Entered: 01/14/2008)

Jan. 11, 2008 PACER
18

MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by VICTOR MOCANU.Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, Memorandum of Law in Support of his Motion for Summary Judgment, Certificate of Service and Order.(ORLOW, JAMES) (Entered: 01/14/2008)

Jan. 14, 2008 PACER
19

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER THAT BY 1/15/07, PARTIES IN MOCANU, CUSUMANO, BARIKBIN, & ELISSAINT SHALL FILE CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT. PARTIES IN ZHANG & NEWTON SHALL FILE CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT BEFORE 10:00 A.M. ON 1/22/08. THE COURT WILL HOLD A HEARING ON THESE CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON 1/22/08 AT 10:00 A.M. IN COURTROOM 3A, ETC. SIGNED BY HONORABLE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON ON 1/11/08. 1/15/08 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED: COPIES MAILED AND FAXED BY CHAMBERS ON 1/11/08.(kw, ) (Entered: 01/15/2008)

Jan. 14, 2008 RECAP
20

MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by ROBERT S. MUELLER, UNKNOWN US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR AGENCIES, MICHAEL CHERTOFF, EMILIO GONZALEZ, DONALD MONICA.Memorandum, Certificate of Service.(CHERICO, COLIN) (Entered: 01/15/2008)

Jan. 15, 2008 PACER
21

Supplemental Memorandum of Law In Further Support of the Government's Motion for Summary Judgment With Exhibits A through D Attached by ROBERT S. MUELLER, UNKNOWN US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR AGENCIES, MICHAEL CHERTOFF, EMILIO GONZALEZ, DONALD MONICA, Certificate of Service. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D) (CHERICO, COLIN) Modified on 1/22/2008 (nd). (Entered: 01/18/2008)

1 Exhibit A

View on PACER

2 Exhibit B

View on PACER

3 Exhibit C

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4 Exhibit D

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Jan. 18, 2008 PACER
22

NOTICE of Appearance by ELIZABETH J. STEVENS on behalf of ROBERT S. MUELLER, UNKNOWN US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR AGENCIES, MICHAEL CHERTOFF, EMILIO GONZALEZ, DONALD MONICA with Certificate of Service(STEVENS, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 01/23/2008)

Jan. 23, 2008 PACER
23

TRANSCRIPT of joint hearing held on 1/22/08. (ESR) (kw, ) (Entered: 01/25/2008)

Jan. 24, 2008 PACER
24

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER THAT BRIEFS ARE DUE BY 2/1/08 ON THE ABOVE-STATED LEGAL ISSUES & ALSO ON THE LACK OF AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION ON THE USCIS WEBSITE. PLFF'S COUNSEL SHOULD COOPERATE & TRY TO FILE A SINGLE BRIEF. THE PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION ENJOINING DEFTS FROM RESOLVING ANY OF THESE CASES IS VACATED AS TO PLFF JEAN ELISSAINT, C.A. #07-4747, BUT CONTINUED AS TO ALL OTHER PLFFS, UNTIL 2/8/08, OR FURTHER ORDER, ETC. SIGNED BY HONORABLE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON ON 1/25/08. 1/28/08 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED: COPIES MAILED AND FAXED BY CHAMBERS ON 1/25/08.(kw, ) (Entered: 01/28/2008)

Jan. 25, 2008 RECAP
25

Plaintiff's Brief and Statement of Issues in Support of Request for Review filed by VICTOR MOCANU.Plaintiffs Brief and Certificate of Service.(ORLOW, JAMES) (Entered: 02/01/2008)

Feb. 1, 2008 PACER
26

Defendant's Response to Request for Review of Plaintiff re 25 Plaintiff's Brief and Statement of Issues in Support of Request for Review Pursuant to the Court's Order of January 25, 2008, and certificate of service filed by ROBERT S. MUELLER, UNKNOWN US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR AGENCIES, MICHAEL CHERTOFF, EMILIO GONZALEZ, DONALD MONICA. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B)(STEVENS, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 02/01/2008)

1 Exhibit A

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2 Exhibit B

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Feb. 1, 2008 PACER
27

Praecipe to File Certification of Supplement to the Administrative Record (ARCIS) and Memorandum Regarding Revised National Security Adjudication and Reporting Requirements by ROBERT S. MUELLER, UNKNOWN US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR AGENCIES, MICHAEL CHERTOFF, EMILIO GONZALEZ, DONALD MONICA. (GIBSON, VIRGINIA) (Entered: 02/06/2008)

Feb. 6, 2008 PACER
28

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER THAT THE MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT ARE GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. THE GOVERNMENT'S MOTIONS TO DISMISS ARE DENIED. THE COURT WILL HOLD A HEARING ON 3/18/2008 AT 10:00 AM IN COURTROOM 3A. SIGNED BY HONORABLE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON ON 2/8/2008. 2/11/2008 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED AND FAXED BY CHAMBERS.(mbh, ) (Entered: 02/11/2008)

Feb. 8, 2008 RECAP
29

Emergency MOTION to Stay re 28 Memorandum & Opinion,, Set Hearings, Injunctive Order Pending Appeal filed by UNKNOWN US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR AGENCIES, MICHAEL CHERTOFF, EMILIO GONZALEZ, DONALD MONICA.Certificate of Service.(STEVENS, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 02/15/2008)

Feb. 15, 2008 PACER
30

RESPONSE in Opposition re 29 Emergency MOTION to Stay re 28 Memorandum & Opinion,, Set Hearings, Injunctive Order Pending AppealEmergency MOTION to Stay re 28 Memorandum & Opinion,, Set Hearings, Injunctive Order Pending Appeal filed by VICTOR MOCANU. (ORLOW, JAMES) (Entered: 02/20/2008)

Feb. 20, 2008 PACER
31

NOTICE of Hearing: ORAL ARGUMENT SET FOR 2/27/2008 10:00 AM IN COURTROOM 3A BEFORE HONORABLE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON WITH RESPECT TO THE GOVERNMENT'S EMERGENCY MOTION TO STAY AND THE PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION.(ltm, ) (Entered: 02/21/2008)

Feb. 21, 2008 PACER
32

Minute Entry, re: Argument held before HONORABLE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON on 1/22/08. Hearing regarding the delay in processing naturalization applications, et al. Witness called & sworn. Court Reporter: ESR. (kw, ) (Entered: 02/21/2008)

Feb. 21, 2008 PACER
33

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER THAT PARAGRAPHS 7, 8, & 10 OF THE COURT'S ORDER DATED 2/8/08 SHALL BE REVISED, ETC. PARTIES SHALL FILE REPORTS NO LATER THAN 3/31/08 AS TO THEIR POSITION. THE COURT WILL SCHEDULE A HEARING AS MAY BE NECESSARY OR APROPRIATE. DEFTS' EMERGENCY MOTION FOR STAY PENDING APPEAL IS DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. SIGNED BY HONORABLE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON ON 2/28/08. 2/2808 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED: COPIES MAILED AND FAXED BY CHAMBERS ON 2/27/08.(kw, ) (Entered: 02/28/2008)

Feb. 28, 2008 RECAP
34

Minute Entry, re: Argument regarding Court's Order and Government's emergency motion to stay plffs' opposition held before HONORABLE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON on 2/27/08. Motion is denied as moot. Court Reporter: ESR. (kw, ) (Entered: 03/04/2008)

March 3, 2008 PACER
35

STIPULATION AND ORDER TO DISMISS THIS ACTION UNDER RULE 41(a)(1) OF THE FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE. THE CASE HAS BECOME MOOT BECAUSE MR. MOCANU WAS NATURALIZED ON 3/12/08. SIGNED BY HONORABLE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON ON 3/20/08. 3/21/08 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED: COPIES FAXED BY CHAMBERS ON 3/20/08.(kw, ) (Entered: 03/21/2008)

March 20, 2008 RECAP

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 1, 2007

Closing Date: March 20, 2008

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Individual permanent legal resident whose naturalization application was left pending for over three years.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Department of Homeland Security, Federal

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.

Mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Due Process: Procedural Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

Immigration/Border:

Status/Classification

U.S. citizenship - acquiring