CA9 on CIMT: Castrijon-Garcia v. Holder

CA9 on CIMT: Castrijon-Garcia v. Holder

"Javier Castrijon-Garcia (“Castrijon”) petitions for review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”), holding that  his conviction for simple kidnapping under California Penal Code (“CPC”) § 207(a) is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I), making him statutorily ineligible for cancellation ofremoval under 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1)(C).  We have jurisdiction pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(D) to determine whether a crime involves moral turpitude.  See Nunez v. Holder, 594 F.3d 1124, 1129 (9th Cir. 2010)(“Whether a crime involves moral turpitude is a question of law that we have jurisdiction to review pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(D).”).  We grant the petition for review and remand to the BIA for further proceedings.  We have held that “non-fraudulent  crimes of moral turpitude almost always involve an intent to harm someone, the actual infliction of harm upon someone, or an action that affects a protected class of victim.”  Id. at 1131. Simple kidnapping under CPC § 207(a) does not involve any of these elements.  Moreover, California courts have applied the statute to conduct that is not morally turpitudinous.  See Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez, 549 U.S. 183, 193 (2007).  Therefore, we hold that simple kidnapping under CPC § 207(a) is not categorically a crime involving moral turpitude. We remand to allow the BIA to conduct a modified categorical analysis of Castrijon’s crime." - Castrijon-Garcia v. Holder, Jan. 9, 2013.  [Hats off to Gary A. Watt, Supervising Counsel; Stephen R. Tollafield, Supervising Counsel; Heidi M. Hansen Kalscheur, Student Counsel; Nolan R. Shaw (argued), Student Counsel, Hastings Appellate Project, San Francisco, California, for Petitioner!]