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Kashani v. Holder

August 23, 2010

MIR MASSOUD KASHANI, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES; ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, DIRECTOR, U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND [DOC. NO. 21] IMMIGRATION SERVICES; JANET NAPOLITANO, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; PAUL M. PIERRE, DISTRICT DIRECTOR, SAN DIEGO OFFICE, U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES; UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES; AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irma E. Gonzalez, Chief Judge United States District Court

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Plaintiff Mir Massoud Kashani initiated this action against Defendants Eric H. Holder, Jr., Janet Napolitano, Alejandro Mayorkas, Paul M. Pierre, United States Department of Homeland Security, and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("Defendants") to challenge the denial of his naturalization application. Plaintiff requests this Court review the denial of his application de novo under 8 U.S.C. § 1421(c).

Presently before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Doc. No. 21.) Plaintiff filed an opposition, and Defendants filed a reply. Defendants' motion is suitable for disposition without oral argument pursuant to Local Civil Rule 7.1(d)(1).*fn1 For the reasons stated herein, the Court GRANTS the motion.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is a permanent resident of the United States. On August 28, 2007, Plaintiff filed an N-400 application for naturalization. On November 18, 2009, Defendant United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") denied Plaintiff's application on the ground that he was unable to demonstrate that he was a person of good moral character as required by 8 U.S.C. § 1427, citing several arrests that occurred during the three previous years. Plaintiff timely appealed the decision and received a new interview on March 16, 2010. On April 20, 2010, the USCIS issued a final determination denying naturalization.

On April 26, 2010, Plaintiff filed his petition requesting this Court review de novo the final denial of his naturalization application under 8 U.S.C. § 1421(c). Plaintiff requests the Court grant his application and administer an oath of citizenship. Plaintiff contends he has met all the eligibility requirements for naturalization: he has met the residence requirements, is of good moral character, and has passed the naturalization interview tests.

On June 28, 2010, Defendants filed this motion for summary judgment, arguing Plaintiff's criminal history precludes the Court from granting the relief he seeks.

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard

Summary judgment is proper where the pleadings and materials demonstrate "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(2); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). A dispute is genuine "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Id.

The moving party bears "the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. To satisfy this burden, the movant must demonstrate that no genuine issue of material fact exists for trial. Id. at 322. Where the moving party does not have the ultimate burden of persuasion at trial, it may carry its initial burden of production in one of two ways: "The moving party may produce evidence negating an essential element of the nonmoving party's case, or, after suitable discovery, the moving party may show that the nonmoving party does not have enough evidence of an essential element of its claim or defense to carry its ultimate burden of persuasion at trial." Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co., v. Fritz Cos., 210 F.3d 1099, 1106 (9th Cir. 2000).

If the moving party carries its initial burden, the non-movant must then show that there are genuine factual issues which can only be resolved by the trier of fact. Reese v. Jefferson Sch. Dist. No. 14J, 208 F.3d 736, 738 (9th Cir. 2000). The nonmoving party may not rely on the pleadings alone, but must present specific facts creating a genuine issue of material fact through affidavits, depositions, or answers to interrogatories. Fed R. Civ. P. 56(e); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. The court must review the record as a whole and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Hernandez v. Spacelabs Med. Inc., 343 F.3d 1107, 1112 (9th Cir. 2003). However, unsupported conjecture or conclusory statements are insufficient to defeat summary judgment. Id.; Surrell v. Cal. Water Serv. Co., 518 F.3d 1097, 1103 (9th Cir. 2008).

II. Analysis

Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1421(c), this Court has jurisdiction to review de novo a denial of a naturalization application. 8 U.S.C. §§ 1421(c). According to the statute, the Court "shall make its own findings of fact and conclusions of law and shall, at the ...


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