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Joao Coutinho, A098 236 413 (BIA Feb. 11, 2014)

Joao Coutinho, A098 236 413 (BIA Feb. 11, 2014)

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In this unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) remanded the record for further consideration of the respondent’s application for adjustment of status, which was denied by the immigration judge as a matter of discretion. The Board noted that the immigration judge declined to favorably exercise discretion because the respondent and his wife’s account of an alleged physical altercation was in contradiction to the police report, but failed to make any findings of fact regarding whether the incident resulted in a criminal conviction or to consider the respondent's positive equities. The decision was written by Member Michael Creppy.

Looking for IRAC’s Index of Unpublished BIA Decisions? Visit www.irac.net/unpublished/index
In this unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) remanded the record for further consideration of the respondent’s application for adjustment of status, which was denied by the immigration judge as a matter of discretion. The Board noted that the immigration judge declined to favorably exercise discretion because the respondent and his wife’s account of an alleged physical altercation was in contradiction to the police report, but failed to make any findings of fact regarding whether the incident resulted in a criminal conviction or to consider the respondent's positive equities. The decision was written by Member Michael Creppy.

Looking for IRAC’s Index of Unpublished BIA Decisions? Visit www.irac.net/unpublished/index

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Published by: Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center, LLC on Feb 24, 2014
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09/11/2014

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BENNETT C.

JAFFE
SE MA LEGAL ASSISTANT CORP.
231 MAIN STREET, STE. 201
BROCKTON, MA 02301
Name: COUTINHO, JOAO
U.S. Department of Justice
Executive Ofce fr Immigration Review
Board of Immigration Appeals
Ofce of the Clerk
5107 Leesbur
g
Pike, Suite 2000
Fa/ Church, Vir
g
inia 20530
OHS/ICE Ofice of Chief Counsel - BOS
P .0. Box 8728
Boston, MA 02114
A 098-236-13
Date of this notice: 2/11/2014
Enclosed is a copy of the Board's decision and order in the above-refrenced case.
Enclosure
Panel Members:
Creppy, Michael J.
Sincerely,
D/ c t
Donna Carr
Chief Clerk
yungc
Userteam: Docket
For more unpublished BIA decisions, visit www.irac.net/unpublished
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Cite as: Joao Coutinho, A098 236 413 (BIA Feb. 11, 2014)
.'
U.S. Department of Justice
Executive Ofce fr Immigration Review
Decision of the Board oflmmigration Appeals
Falls Church, \:irginia 20530
File: A098 236 413 - Boston, MA
In re: JOAO COUTINHO
I REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS
APPEAL
Date:
ON BEHALF OF RESPONDENT: Bennett C. Jafee, Esquire
APPLICATION: Adjustment of stats
FEB 11 2014
The respondent, a native and citizen of Cape Verde, appeals the Immigration Judge's
October 5, 2011, decision denying his application fr adjustment of status under section 245 of
the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1255. The record will be remanded.
We review fr clear error the fndings of fct, including the determination of credibility,
made by the Immigration Judge. 8 C.F.R. § 1003. l (d)(3)(i). We review de novo all other issues,
including whether the paries have met the relevat burden of proof, and issues of discretion.
8 C. F.R. § 1003.l(d)(3)(ii).
As the respondent's application fr relief was fled afer May 11, 2005, it is govered by the
provisions of the REAL ID Act. Matter of A-S-B-, 24 l&N Dec. 493 (BIA 2008).
The Immigation Judge denied the respondent's application fr adjustment of status solely as
a mater of discretion, based upon fnding that the respondent and his United States citizen wif
had lied to the Court regarding the nature and circumstances of an alleged physical altercation
between the two in which the police were called and the respondent was arrested (l.J. at 3). The
Immigration Judge fund that their testimony was in contradiction to the police report, which
stated tat the respondent's wif told the offcers that the respondent had slapped her thee or
fur times, and which stated that the ofcers had observed red maks on the respondent's wife's
fce and neck.
The Immigration Judge's decision, however, lacks any fndings of fct related to the
respondent's positive equities, as well as any other adverse fctors, including whether the alleged
physical altercation resulted in a criminal conviction. The decision also lacks any analysis or
indication that the Immigration Judge careflly considered and balanced all favorable and
adverse fctors presented in determining whether the respondent warrants relief as a matter of
discretion. See Matter of Sotelo, 23 I&N Dec. 201, 204 (BIA 2001); Matter ofC-V-T-, 22 l&N
Dec. 7, 10-11 (BIA 1998); see also Matter of S-H-, 23 I&N Dec. 462, 465 (BIA 2002) (because
the Board has limited fct-fnding authori�y, there is a heightened need fr Immigration Judges to
include clea and complete fndings of fct in their decisions). In light of this very limited record,
we are precluded fom meaingflly reviewing de novo the Immigration Judge's discretionary
denial. See generally Matter ofS-H-, 23 I&N Dec. 462, 463-65 (BIA 2002).
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Cite as: Joao Coutinho, A098 236 413 (BIA Feb. 11, 2014)
,.
A098 236 413
Accordingly, the record will be remanded to the Immigration Judge fr additional fct­
fnding and fr a new determination a to whether te respondent warrants adjustment of status
as a matter of discretion based upon a balancing of the respondent's equities and adverse fctors.
On remand, the paries should be given te opportuity to submit additional relevant evidence
and to make additional arguments. By remanding, we make no deterination regarding the
ultimate outcome of this case; rather, that decision rests in the frst instance with the Immigration
Judge. See Mater oJL-0-G-, 21 I&N Dec. 413, 422 (BIA 1996). The fllowing order will be
entered.
ORDER: The record is remanded fr frther proceedings consistent with the fregoing
opinion and fr the entry of a new decision.
2
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Cite as: Joao Coutinho, A098 236 413 (BIA Feb. 11, 2014)
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CERTIFICATE PAGE

`
I hereby certify that the attached proceeding before JUDGE
PAUL M. GAGNON, in the matter of:
JOAO COUTINHO
A098-236-413
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS
is an accurate, verbatim transcript of the recording as provided
by the Executive Office for Imigration Review and that this is
the original transcript thereof for the file of the Executive
Office for Imigration Review.
. .
·�� .' .
ANGELINA BECERRA {Transcriber)
DEPOSITION SERVICES, Inc.
DECEMBER 16, 2011
(Completion Date)
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