United States District Court, D. New Jersey
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
matter arises from the denial of Plaintiff Aleh
Kublitski's naturalization application. Before the Court
is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. For the
reasons that follow, the Court will grant summary judgment in
favor of Defendants.
that Plaintiff responded to Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment with a brief letter and a Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56(d) request for discovery and deferred
briefing, the Court has not been provided with a complete set
of Statements of Material Facts Not in Dispute. However, in
his letter to the Court, Plaintiff included the
“procedural history of the case, ” which largely
overlaps with Defendants' Statement of Material Facts Not
in Dispute. The Court uses these two documents to address the
underlying facts of this case.
was born in Russia in 1970. On April 30, 1999, Plaintiff was
admitted to the United States as a visitor. He remained in
the United States beyond his authorized stay.
17, 2000, Plaintiff married Barbara Roach, a United States
citizen. In September 2000, Plaintiff and Roach filed a Form
I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative), a Form I-485
(Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust
Status), and a Form I-765 (Work Authorization) with the U.S.
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). On October 17,
2000, the INS sent a rejection notice to Plaintiff and Roach.
On November 8, 2000, Plaintiff and Roach re-filed the forms.
parties differ as to what happened on or around August 7,
2001. According to Plaintiff, “[o]n August 7, 2001, INS
issued an internal Form I-181 Memorandum Creation of Record
of Lawful Permanent Residence stating that Aleh Kublitski had
been granted Lawful Permanent Resident Status pursuant to INA
Section 245” and that “the INS Cherry Hill Office
mailed an I-485 Approval Notice to Aleh Kublitski that
stated: ‘Your application for Permanent Residency has
been approved' and that he would receive his ‘Alien
Registration Receipt Card in 270 days.'” According
to Defendants, however:
There is a letter in the administrative record addressed to
Kublitski dated August 7, 2001. The document has letterhead
indicating that it was prepared by “Examinations, U.S.
Immigration & Naturalization Services, 1886 Greentree
Road, Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08003.” There are entries
near the top right of the document for the A File Number and
“Adj. Class.” There is a blank space next to the
words “Approval Date.” Underneath the salutation,
“Dear Applicant, ” the letter states, “Your
Application for Permanent Residency Has Been Approved.”
The letter is unsigned.
August 8, 2001, the INS issued a Fingerprint Referral Notice
for Plaintiff. On August 22, 2001, the INS sent Plaintiff an
Adjustment of Status interview notice for a September 27,
2001 interview. The parties continued to correspond over the
following facts, while not explicitly agreed to between the
parties, are taken from the Court's review of the
documents provided in the administrative record. On September
10, 2004, Plaintiff and Roach were given a Final Judgment of
Divorce. Defendants proffer that, sometime in 2004, the Form
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative was approved. The Court is
able to discern a stamp and a signature on the Petition, but
the Court is unable to discern any approval date on the
document. (A368A). However, as Plaintiff was eventually
granted permanent resident status, at some point prior to
March 19, 2005, this petition was necessarily approved. On
March 19, 2005, the I-495 Application to Adjust Status was
stamped “approved, ” as was a Memorandum of
Creation of Record of Lawful Permanent Residence. Plaintiff
was issued a Permanent Resident Card, stating that Plaintiff
was a resident since March 19, 2005.
N-400 Application for Naturalization appears to have been
signed by Plaintiff on September 23, 2014 and signed by the
individual who prepared the form on October 17, 2014. On the
N-400 form, Plaintiff stated he became a permanent resident
on March 19, 2005.
filed his Complaint with the Court on January 16, 2017.
Plaintiff asks for the following relief:
(a) Granting him a hearing de novo before this Court
on his naturalization application and declaring that he is
entitled to be naturalized, and/or
(b) Ordering the prompt adjudication of his request for
(c) Granting him costs and attorneys' fees and such other
and further relief that this Court may deem proper.
23, 2017, Defendants moved for summary judgment. Plaintiff
responded with a nine-page letter and a Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56(d) Declaration.