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Gilberto Ernesto Edwards v. Tony Bryson

July 26, 2012

GILBERTO ERNESTO EDWARDS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TONY BRYSON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Anita B. Brody, J.

MEMORANDUM

Plaintiff Gilberto Ernesto Edwards brings suit against Defendants Tony Bryson, Evangelia Klapakis, Thomas Decker, Orlando Rivera, Perry Rhew, and Janet Napolitano (collectively, "the Government").*fn1 Edwards seeks a declaratory judgment, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1503(a), that he is a United States citizen. Currently pending before me are the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, I will declare that Edwards is a citizen of the United States.

I. BACKGROUND*fn2

Plaintiff Gilberto Ernesto Edwards was born in Panama in 1965. At the time of his birth, Edwards' parentswere married. On August 24, 1977, Edwards was admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident.

On May 17, 1978, Edwards' mother filed a Petition for Support with the Family Court of the State of New York seeking financial supportfrom her husband, Edwards' father. The petition listed different home addresses for Edward's mother and father. On September 5, 1978, the Family Court issued a Temporary Support Order, ordering Edwards' father to provide financial support to Edwards' mother.The Family Court made this support order permanent on October 4, 1978.

On December 21, 1982, Edwards' mother naturalized as a U.S. citizen. At the time of her naturalization, Edwards was seventeen years old and resided with his mother, but not his father. In 1983, Edwards turned eighteen. On September 12, 1984, Edwards' father naturalized as a U.S. citizen. In 1985, Edwards' parents divorced.

Edwards applied for a passport in 1991. To support his application, Edwards submitted his mother's naturalization certificate, his father's naturalization certificate, and his own birth certificate. On December 16, 1991, the U.S. Department of State ("Department of State") issued Edwards a passport and returned his supporting documentation to him.

On December 27, 2000, the United States indicted Edwards for trafficking cocaine. On March 27, 2001, a jury convicted Edwards of conspiring to import more than five kilograms of cocaine into the United States.

On February13, 2001, during the period between his indictment and conviction, Edwards filed an N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service ("INS").*fn3 At the time Edwards filed his N-600 application, he had a valid passport. On December 15, 2001, ten months after the filing of his N-600 application, Edwards' passport expired.

On August 7, 2008, Edwards filed a second N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, this time with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS"). On August 29, 2009, USCIS denied both of Edwards' N-600 applications. Edwards appealed the denial. On July 29, 2009, the Administrative Appeals Office ("AAO") remanded Edwards' case to USCIS to allow the Department of State to determine whether to revoke Edwards' passport.

On June 15, 2011, USCIS again denied Edwards' N-600 applications and noted that the Department of State could not revoke Edwards' passport because it had expired in 2001. Edwards again appealed the denial. On July 14, 2011, the AAO upheld USCIS's denial of Edwards' N-600 applications.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

According to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), summary judgment will be granted "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." There are no disputed facts in this case; the sole issue is whether, as a matter of law, Edwards is entitled to a ...


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