Nda Seka v. Sessions

FILED United States Court of Appeals UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS Tenth Circuit TENTH CIRCUIT November 20, 2017 Elisabeth A. Shumaker Clerk of Court JEAN B. NDA SEKA, a/k/a JEAN BEDEL NDA SEKA, Petitioner, v. No. 17-9521 (Petition for Review) JEFFERSON B. SESSONS, III, United States Attorney General, Respondent. ORDER AND JUDGMENT* Before LUCERO, O’BRIEN, and MORITZ, Circuit Judges. Jean Bedel Nda Seka (Seka), a native and citizen of the Ivory Coast, fled to the United States because his father-in-law wanted Seka to renounce his marriage to his wife (the father-in-law’s daughter) so she could marry a wealthier man. The Department of * Oral argument would not materially assist the determination of this appeal. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2); 10th Cir. R. 34.1(G). We have decided this case on the briefs. This order and judgment is an unpublished decision, not binding precedent. 10th Cir. R. 32.1(A). Citation to unpublished decisions is not encouraged, but not prohibited. Fed. R. App. 32.1. Citation is appropriate as it relates to law of the case, issue preclusion and claim preclusion. Unpublished decisions may also be cited for their persuasive value. 10th Cir. R. 32.1(A). Citation to an order and judgment must be accompanied by an appropriate parenthetical notation B (unpublished). Id. Homeland Security (DHS) initiated removal proceedings against him. He applied for asylum and withholding of removal.1 At issue was whether he had established a well- founded fear of future persecution because of his membership in a particular social group (his in-laws, in particular his father-in-law). An Immigration Judge (IJ) denied the application and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissed his appeal from that denial (asylum is not a remedy for individuals’ personal—particularly intra-family— disputes). Seka seeks review of the denial of his application. He also argues the IJ should have continued his merits hearing to allow him to obtain counsel. We deny the petition for review. I. Background A. Seka’s flight to the United States Seka was born on April 3, 1978, in the Ivory Coast. He became a hairdresser and owned his own salon. In 2011, he met Yapi Apo Florence (Florence). A year later, they decided to get married. In their culture, marriage is a two-step process. The first (called Koko) requires the groom to prove to the bride’s family that he wants to marry her. Seka 1 Seka also sought withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), which “prohibits the return of an alien to a country where it is more likely than not that he will be subject to torture by a public official, or at the instigation or with the acquiescence of such an official.” Karki v. Holder, 715 F.3d 792, 806 (10th Cir. 2013) (quotation marks omitted). The IJ denied CAT relief and the BIA declined to consider the issue because Seka had not meaningfully raised the issue in his appeal to the BIA. Because he has also abandoned the issue in his petition for review, we do not consider it. See Tran ...

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