Court: Ex-federal immigration lawyer can be sued for forgery

Legal Issues

A U.S. appeals court says a former federal immigration lawyer who forged a document in an effort to get a man deported can be sued for damages.


Jonathan M. Love was assistant chief counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Seattle in 2009, when he forged a document purporting to show that Mexican immigrant Ignacio Lanuza had voluntarily agreed to be deported in 2000.

Lanuza later obtained a new attorney, who noticed the document was fake: Its letterhead said "U.S. Department of Homeland Security" — a federal agency that didn't exist in 2000.

Love was criminally prosecuted and sentenced to a month in prison in 2016. But U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman reluctantly dismissed Lanuza's civil claim against him. The judge said legal precedent barred the lawsuit.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision Tuesday. The panel called the forgery egregious.

Related listings

  • California high court rules for immigrant kids in visa fight

    California high court rules for immigrant kids in visa fight

    Legal Issues 08/17/2018

    The California Supreme Court on Thursday made it easier for some immigrant children who are abused or abandoned by a parent to seek a U.S. visa to avoid deportation in a ruling that advocates said would help thousands of children.State judges cannot ...

  • Audit: 'Pervasive lack of accountability' in Kentucky courts

    Audit: 'Pervasive lack of accountability' in Kentucky courts

    Legal Issues 07/11/2018

    In 2016, Kentucky's Administrative Office of the Courts was looking for office space for newly-elected Supreme Court Justice Sam Wright. They got two offers: One would cost more than $59,000 a year and require extensive renovations. The other space w...

  • Hawaii Supreme Court sides with lesbian couple in B&B case

    Hawaii Supreme Court sides with lesbian couple in B&B case

    Legal Issues 07/09/2018

    A Hawaii appeals court ruling that a bed and breakfast discriminated by denying a room to two women because they're gay will stand after the state's high court declined to take up the case.Aloha Bed & Breakfast owner Phyllis Young had argued she ...

USCIS to Continue Implementing New Policy Memorandum on Notices to Appear

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is continuing to implement the June 28, 2018, Policy Memorandum (PM), Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens (PDF, 140 KB).

USCIS may issue NTAs as described below based on denials of I-914/I-914A, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status; I-918/I-918A, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status; I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Violence Against Women Act self-petitions and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status petitions); I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions when the beneficiary is present in the US; I-929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant; and I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (with the underlying form types listed above).

If applicants, beneficiaries, or self-petitioners who are denied are no longer in a period of authorized stay and do not depart the United States, USCIS may issue an NTA. USCIS will continue to send denial letters for these applications and petitions to ensure adequate notice regarding period of authorized stay, checking travel compliance, or validating departure from the United States.