Singh v. Kerry

1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA NIRMAL SINGH, Plaintiff, Civil Action No. 16-922 (CKK) v. REX W. TILLERSON, et al., Defendants. MEMORANDUM OPINION (September 21, 2017) Plaintiff Nirmal Singh, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, has brought this action seeking relief in connection with the decision by the United States Consulate in New Delhi, India to deny immigrant visas for Mr. Singh’s wife, Surjeet Kaur, and his four children: daughter Gurwinder Kaur, daughter Jasveer Kaur; son Sukhwant Singh; and son Kulwant Singh. Defendants – who include Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of the United States Department of State, Richard R. Verma, in his official capacity as United States Ambassador to India, the Consulate General and two consular officers employed by the United States Embassy in New Delhi, India – have moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and 12(b)(6), for failure to 1 state a claim. 1 Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(d), the Court has automatically substituted the name of the current Secretary of State for his predecessor. 2 After reviewing the parties’ submissions, relevant case law and applicable statutory authority, the Court finds that the doctrine of consular nonreviewability precludes the district court’s exercise of jurisdiction and Plaintiff fails to state a claim. 2 Accordingly, the Court shall GRANT Defendants’ [19] Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint for the reasons discussed herein. A separate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion. I. BACKGROUND Plaintiff Nirmal Singh (“Plaintiff”) entered the United States in 1993; his employer petitioned for an immigrant visa on behalf of Plaintiff, his wife and children, and the petition was approved on August 20, 2004. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 9, 11. Plaintiff claims that as of that date, his four children were all unmarried and under the age of 21, and pursuant to the Child Status Protection Act (“CSPA”), 8 U.S.C. § 1153(h)(1), immigrant visas should have been available to his family members. Am. Compl. ¶ 11. Plaintiff obtained his immigration visa and consequent Lawful Permanent Resident (“LPR”) status on January 22, 2008. Am. Compl. ¶ 15. Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff filed a Form I-824, seeking “follow-to-join” eligibility for his family members, which was approved on June 2, 2009. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 16, 32. In August 2010, Plaintiff’s family members appeared for immigrant visa interviews at the United States Embassy in New Delhi, India, but they were subsequently denied visas, in 2011, on grounds of material misrepresentation and alien smuggling. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 36-37. In June 2013, Plaintiff’s family members appeared for a 2 The Court’s consideration has focused on the following documents: Pl.’s Amended Compl., ECF No. 5; Defs.’ Mot. to Dismiss Pl.’s Am. Compl. (“Defs.’ Mot.”), ECF No. 19; Pl.’s Opp’n to Defs.’ Mot. (“Pl.’s Opp’n”), ECF No. 20; and Defs.’ Reply Brief (“Defs.’ Reply”), ECF No. 21. The motion is fully briefed and ripe for adjudication. In an exercise of its discretion, the Court finds that holding ...

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