Pereira v. Sessions

Facts of the Case

or

Question

Must a notice to appear for a removal hearing specify the place and time of the hearing to effectively trigger the stop-time rule of 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(1), contrary to the holding of the Board of Immigration Appeals?

CONCLUSION

A notice to appear for a removal hearing that does not specify the time and place of the hearing does not trigger the stop-time rule. In an 8-1 decision authored by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Court reasoned that a notice to appear that does not include with specificity both when and where cannot reasonably be expected to result in a person appearing at their hearing. The Court looked to the text of the statute, which provides that the continuous period in question ends when the alien is served with notice to appear, and notice to appear is defined throughout the section as a written notice . . . specifying . . . the time and place at which the proceedings will be held. The text of the statute is thus unambiguous, so Chevron deference to the interpretation by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is unnecessary. This requirement of a notice to appear is also consistent with congressional intent.Justice Anthony Kennedy filed a concurring opinion to note his concern over the way courts apply Chevron deference.Justice Samuel Alito filed a dissenting opinion, in which he finds that the language of the statute is ambiguous and thus that the BIA’s interpretation is entitled to Chevron deference.

Case Information

  • Citation: 585 US _ (2018)
  • Granted: Jan 12, 2018
  • Argued: Apr 23, 2018
  • Decided Jun 21, 2018