CA6 (Unpub.) on Equitable Tolling: Lisboa v. Holder

CA6 (Unpub.) on Equitable Tolling: Lisboa v. Holder

"The petitioner, Jose S. Lisboa, Jr., seeks review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals denying his motion to reopen removal proceedings.  An immigration judge ordered Lisboa, then legally in the country, removed on the basis of a conviction in state court.  After his removal, a state appellate court vacated Lisboa’s conviction on the basis of a substantive defect in his plea agreement with the state.  An immigration judge subsequently granted Lisboa’s motion to reopen his removal proceedings, but the Board reversed this decision twice; first, on the basis of a then-existing regulatory bar against motions to reopen by aliens outside the country and, then, after a reversal and remand by this court, upon a finding that Lisboa’s circumstances were not adequately exceptional to warrant an exercise of the Board’s so-called sua sponte authority.  Because the Board refused to consider Lisboa’s request for equitable tolling of his statutory motion to reopen, and because the Board offered no rational explanation for this ruling, we grant the petition for review, reverse, and remand to allow the Board to address that question in the first instance." - Lisboa v. Holder, June 25, 2014, unpub., emphasis added.  [Hats off to Tom Tousley!]