Munyaneza v. Blinken

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA NARCIESSE MUNYANEZA, Plaintiff, v. Civil Action No. 21-cv-2778 (TSC) ANTONY BLINKEN, et al., Defendant. MEMORANDUM OPINION Plaintiff Narcisse Munyaneza has petitioned this court for a writ of mandamus to compel Defendants to adjudicate a pending visa application for his wife, Claudine Niyibizi. See Pet. for Writ of Mandamus & Compl. for Inj. Relief (“Compl.”) ¶¶ 1, 12, ECF No. 1. Niyibizi’s application originated in Rwanda but was transferred to the United States Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, in March 2020. Id. ¶ 14. In May 2021, Niyibizi had an interview with a consular officer in Nairobi, after which her application was placed in “administrative processing.” Id. ¶ 15-16. This is not a final decision; rather, it allows applicants to provide supplemental information to their application as requested by the State Department to determine their visa eligibility. 9 FAM 306.2-2(A)(a); see also Ramirez v. Blinken, No. 21-cv-1099, 2022 WL 1795080, at *5 (D.D.C. Mar. 22, 2022). The application remains in administrative processing. Munyaneza filed suit five months after the application was placed into administrative processing, claiming that Defendants “unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed” agency action on his wife’s visa, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), 5 U.S.C. §§ 555(b), 706(1). Compl. ¶¶ 12-30 (quoting 5 U.S.C. § 706(1)). He thus seeks a writ of mandamus ordering Defendants to process the visa within 15 days. Id. ¶¶ 31-36. Page 1 of 7 Defendants have moved to dismiss, ECF No. 5, arguing that (1) Munyaneza lacks standing to sue certain Defendants because they cannot provide the relief that he seeks; (2) the claims of unreasonable delay are “immune from review under the consular non-reviewability doctrine;” and (3) the re-adjudication time for the visa application at issue is not unreasonable under the factors provided by Telecommunications Research & Action Center v. FCC, 750 F.2d 70, 79 (D.C. Cir. 1984) (“TRAC”). Defs.’ Mot. to Dismiss (“MTD”) at 4-18, ECF No. 5. The court will grant Defendants’ motion to dismiss as to the first and third claims, and therefore need not address the consular non-reviewability argument. See, e.g., Tekle v. Blinken, No. 21-cv-1655, 2022 WL 1288437 at *2 (D.D.C. Apr. 29, 2022) (quoting Baan Rao Thai Rest. v. Pompeo, 985 F.3d 1020, 1027 (D.C. Cir. 2021) ( dismissal based on consular non- reviewability is not jurisdictional). I. LEGAL STANDARD Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), a defendant may move for dismissal because a plaintiff has failed to establish the court’s jurisdiction by a preponderance of the evidence. See Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561. That includes establishing the “irreducible constitutional minimum” of standing: that the plaintiff has alleged (1) an injury in fact that is concrete and particularized as well as actual or imminent, (2) a causal connection between the injury and the challenged conduct, and (3) a likelihood that the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision. Id. The court must “assume the truth of all material factual allegations in …

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