The Cleveland Immigration Court is one of the 67 immigration courts in the United States. It is under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge (OCIJ), which determines immigration court policies, monitors policy implementation, and supervises immigration judges. OCIJ is a part of the Executive Office for Immigration Review under the Department of Justice.
It is located at 801 W. Superior Avenue, Suite 13 – 100, Cleveland, OH 44113.
Operation hours are from 8 am to 12 pm, and from 12.30 pm to 4 pm, during weekdays.
The phone number is 216-802-1100.
Immigration Court staff consists of:
Immigration Judges: James F. McCarthy III, Assistant Chief Immigration Judge; Monte J. Horton; Teresa L. Riley; Bruce D. Imbacuan; Jeremy J. Santoro; Jonathan W. Owens; David C. Whipple; and Jennifer M. Riedthaler-Williams. Immigration judges act independently in leading the Immigration Court proceedings.
They also partake at naturalization ceremonies taken by the Department of Homeland Security.
The court administrator is James W. Roder. Court administrator works under the supervision of an Assistant Chief Immigration Judge, and it administrates Court and staff activities.
Immigration court adjudicates cases that fall under immigration law and matters. Proceedings before the Court are civil, and they can be removal, deportation, exclusion, and other kinds. They include non-citizens that are charged for violating the immigration law. A person can appear before the Court with an attorney or accredited representative, or it can represent itself.
A list of subjects, such as lawyers and nonprofit organizations that provide free or low-cost legal services, is available by the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge.
The person gets noticed that he is charged before the Immigration Court via Notice to Appear (NTA). This document contains charges that non-citizen will admit or deny during the proceedings. Therefore, it is crucial to understand all the stated allegations.
Court works on the principle of individual hearings. During the hearings, immigrants will have the opportunity to argument his/her rights to stay in the United States. It is necessary to prepare a defense, and it is possible to bring witnesses.
The opponent will be the government attorney. Cross-examination is allowed, and the immigration judge can also interrupt to ask for clarifications during the questioning.
Before the hearings, non-citizen should declare what relief from removal it seeks. Relief application consists of form EOIR-28 (if required), cover page, fee receipt (if applicable), application, exhibits, and proof of service. The application with all the side documents should be filed. Also, it is necessary to pay the application fees before a certain date. Otherwise, the request will be denied.
The immigration judge will base his decision on previous decisions in similar cases, and it will decide if the non-citizen will remain, or it will be deported. The decisions are final, except if the appeal was filed timely, within 30 days, to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
This is the highest organ that has jurisdiction to review immigration court decisions, as well as some of the Department of Homeland security decisions.
In general, court proceedings are open to the public. More information and observing prohibitions are available at observing immigration court hearings.