Joplin, MO asked in Immigration Law for Missouri

Q: I am working with a family who accidentally missed their immigration court date last week. What should the family do now

The mother had her paperwork in a purse that was recently stolen. The paperwork listed the court date time and location. She knew the date was approaching so she called in to find out when she needed to be present only to find out the court date had passed nearly a week ago.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In situations where a court date is missed, especially for immigration matters, it's crucial to act quickly to address the oversight. The family should immediately contact the court to explain the situation, including the reason for missing the scheduled date. Documentation of the stolen purse and any police reports filed can support their case. It's important for them to demonstrate that the missed appearance was unintentional and due to circumstances beyond their control.

Next, the family may need to file a motion to reopen the case. This legal document requests that the judge reopen the case because the individual had a valid reason for not attending the court date. The specifics of filing this motion can vary, so checking with the court for exact requirements is necessary. The motion should be filed as soon as possible, as there are often strict deadlines for these requests.

Lastly, seeking guidance from an attorney experienced in immigration law can be invaluable in navigating this process. They can provide advice on the best course of action, assist with filing the necessary paperwork, and represent the family in court if needed. While there may be costs associated with hiring an attorney, their expertise can significantly increase the chances of a favorable outcome.

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