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News Posted on January 10, 2012

Ninth Circuit Upholds Immigration Law Clinic Victory

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a government Petition for Rehearing, motion to dismiss, and motion to vacate the precedential ruling in Singh v. Holder, 638 F.3d 1196 (9th Cir. 2011), an Immigration Law Clinic case that set a new standard of proof in certain immigration bond hearings.

"This victory is an incredible testament to the hard work of Scott Grzenczyk, an extraordinary clinic student, who came in the day after completing his bar exam to assist with the response to the government's motions," Holly S. Cooper, lecturer and staff attorney with the UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic, said of the 2011 King Hall graduate.  "He is the exemplar of commitment to social justice and excellence."

The Ninth Circuit's March 2011 decision came as a result of years of advocacy by Immigration Law Clinic students on behalf of a man who had been held for nearly four years in a remote detention center near Bakersfield, California.  Judges Raymond C. Fisher, Jay S. Bybee, and Susan P. Graber held that the standard of proof in bond hearings should be clear and convincing evidence (a heightened standard required in most civil detention custody determinations) and required contemporaneous records of bond hearings be provided by the immigration courts.  Last week, the Ninth Circuit denied the government's efforts to rehear or vacate the case.

Kristy Blumeyer-Martinez '13, Nicholas Starkman '13, and Kevin Pease '13 wrote the response to the Petition for Rehearing, "an endeavor of tremendous complexity and magnitude," Cooper said, adding that thanks were also due to the American Civil Liberties Union, Stanford Law Professor Jayashri Srikantiah, and Federal Defender James Fife for providing legal support.