United States Court of Appeals
Immigration — JRAD
A judicial recommendation against deportation is valid even though not entered within 30 days of sentencing, where the sentencing judge retained jurisdiction of the case.
“Solis-Chavez’s judge clearly indicated at sentencing that she intended to consider a JRAD in due course. Indeed, the judge raised the JRAD issue herself. She informed counsel of the notice requirements and deemed Solis-Chavez an appropriate candidate. The judge viewed the case as ‘very different from a lot of the other cases that might have been charged under the [sexual-assault] statute’ because the victim ‘was not harmed in any substantial way.’ Moreover, Solis-Chavez had no criminal background. At the end of the sentencing hearing, the judge explicitly ‘retain[ed] jurisdiction for 30 days,’ said the case was ‘still on the call,’ and made it clear that she ‘anticipat[ed] further proceedings in this matter.’”
“When the time came for those further proceedings, the judge was in the middle of a jury trial. She called Solis- Chavez’s case during a break but under the circumstances did not have an opportunity to refamiliarize herself with the case or the JRAD issue. Solis-Chavez’s counsel was not in the courtroom at that moment, so the judge continued the case until the next month. This is not uncommon in high-volume state trial courts, in which judges call dozens of cases each day—often while in trial—and attorneys juggle appearances in several courtrooms on the same day. The decision to continue the matter outside the 30-day window thus represents an oversight of a busy state trial judge, not an opinion on the merits of the JRAD. Had the judge been reminded of the JRAD clock, we are confident she would have handled the matter more delicately, especially in light of her previously announced intention to consider a JRAD. As it was, the judge entered the recommendation at the next hearing, without opposition from immigration authorities or the state prosecutor. There is no indication that she was unfamiliar with the facts of Solis- Chavez’s case at that time. Importantly, the judge was plainly trying to retain jurisdiction for the express purpose of considering the JRAD.”
10-1354 & 11-1243 Solis-Chavez v. Holder
Petitions for Review of Orders of the Board of Immigration Appeals, Sykes, J.