Muhammad Sajjad Nawaz v. Attorney General United States

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT _____________ No. 20-3141 _____________ MUHAMMAD SAJJAD NAWAZ, Petitioner v. ATTORNEY GENERAL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA _______________ On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA 1:A214-327-164) Immigration Judge: David Cheng _______________ Submitted Under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) September 6, 2022 Before: JORDAN, HARDIMAN, and MATEY, Circuit Judges (Filed: September 23, 2022) _______________ OPINION _______________  This disposition is not an opinion of the full court and, pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7, does not constitute binding precedent. JORDAN, Circuit Judge. Petitioner Muhammad Nawaz is a native and citizen of Pakistan. He was admitted into the United States in June 2016 as a nonimmigrant with authorization to remain in the United States until November 2016. He stayed longer than that, and in 2019 the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) initiated removal proceedings by serving him with a Notice to Appear (“NTA”). Nawaz failed to appear at his scheduled hearing, so an Immigration Judge (“IJ”) conducted the hearing in absentia and ordered his removal. Nawaz then filed a motion to reopen the proceedings, claiming that he had not received proper notice of the hearing and that he was eligible for adjustment of status as the spouse of a U.S. citizen. The IJ denied the motion, finding that Nawaz had been given proper notice. The Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) dismissed the appeal. We will deny his petition for review. I. BACKGROUND1 In June 2019, Nawaz received an NTA sent by regular mail to his home address, directing him to appear before an IJ in Newark, NJ on October 11, 2019. Two months later, he retained counsel, who dialed the 1-800 number provided for checking on the status of his case. Counsel learned, and informed Nawaz, that no hearing was scheduled. Nawaz regularly called the 1-800 number after that but failed to get any information about the date for the hearing. 1 Nawaz submitted an affidavit in support of the motion to reopen, and, for purposes of deciding this petition, we accept the facts he states and recount the following narrative in accordance with them. 2 Although Nawaz’s calls proved fruitless, he nevertheless went to the Immigration Court on October 11, as prescribed in the NTA. At the court, a clerk told him that no hearing was scheduled in the system. Nawaz confirmed that the court had his correct address, and the clerk instructed him to regularly check his mail for correspondence related to the NTA. A Notice of Hearing in Removal Proceedings (“Hearing Notice”) was sent by the Immigration Court by regular mail to Nawaz’s home address on October 22, directing him to appear at a hearing on November 8. Nawaz, however, maintains that he did not receive that notice. When Nawaz failed to appear on November 8, the IJ conducted the hearing in absentia and ordered that he be removed to Pakistan. The IJ found that Nawaz was provided written notice of the removal hearing, which included …

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