Castro Tum Judicial E-mails

Matthew Hoppock filed this request with the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review of the United States of America.
Tracking #

2018-35110

Due July 6, 2018
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Matthew Hoppock


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

The documents related to assignment of an Immigration Judge in the matter of In Re Reynaldo CASTRO-TUM. It is our understanding that after the Attorney General reversed the administrative closure decision and remanded this matter, the original Immigration Judge, Steven Morley, set a briefing schedule for the parties to address the issues. However, recently the agency has without explanation or advance notice assigned a new Immigration Judge , ACIJ Deepali Nadkarni, to this case and has scheduled a hearing for July, 2018. It is unclear whether the respondent has been notified of the change in IJ or the hearing date. Given this relatively unorthodox development, we are requesting the records in the possession of the agency that would explain what has occurred following remand. That would include the following:
1. Any written records (non-electronic documents) related to the assignment or change of the Immigration Judge in the Castro Tum between May 17, 2018 and the date this request is processed.
2. Any e-mail messages to or from IJ Steven Morley about the Castro Tum matter or about judicial assignments between May 17, 2018 and the date this request is processed.
3. Any e-mail messages to or from ACIJ Deepali Nadkarni about the Castro Tum matter or about judicial assignments between May 17, 2018 and the date this request is processed.
4. The records from the agency's Case Access System for EOIR ("CASE") database related to the Castro Tum matter or about judicial assignments between May 17, 2018 and the date this request is processed.

We are requesting that this matter be expedited, given that the case appears to be scheduled for a Master Calendar hearing in July, 2018. Also, because the change in IJ may in fact by unlawful or otherwise improper, it is important that the records be produced in an expedited manner because the issue is one of public interest. Further, given the widespread publicity about the Castro Tum matter, there is substantial interest in the developments following remand. I will likely be writing about this development as a member of the news media and need the documents requested to complete my writing. Because I am a member of the news media and have no commercial interest in these documents, I am also asking that any search and/or reproduction fees be waived.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Matthew Hoppock

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

Matthew,

A search was conducted and responsive documents were found. The documents are currently under review for redaction and release.

This request is #31 of 57 pending "complex" cases.

I completed your request 2018-34981 yesterday.

Wr/
Joseph R. Schaaf
Chief Counsel, Administrative Law
Executive Office for Immigration Review

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