United States District Court, D. Arizona
Honorable G. Murray Snow
before the Court are Petitioner Sazar Dent's
(“Dent”), (Doc. 182), and the Respondent Jeff B.
Sessions's, (Doc. 180), respective motions for summary
judgment on Dent's constitutional due process claim. For
the following reasons, the Court grants the Respondent's
motion and denies Petitioner's motion.
Dent was born in November, 1967 in Honduras. (Doc. 183 at 2;
Doc. 181 at 2.) He was legally adopted by Roma Dent
(“Ms. Dent”), a United States citizen, in
September of 1981. (Doc. 183 at 2; Doc. 181 at 2.) Soon after
his adoption, Dent was admitted as a lawful permanent
resident and on January 18, 1982, Ms. Dent filed a Form
N-402, an Application to File a Petition for Naturalization
on Behalf of a Child. (Doc.183 at 2; Doc. 181 at 2, 5.) In
1982, applications filed in Arkansas were processed by the
INS office in New Orleans as opposed to the INS office in
Memphis because of the backlog in the Memphis office. (Doc.
181 at 5; Doc. 183 at 3.) Through 1984 INS examiners from New
Orleans would travel to Fort Smith, Arkansas, to conduct
interviews and court hearings on applications from the Fort
Smith Area-the location nearest to Dent's residence.
(Doc. 181 at 7; Doc 183 at 3.) They would make such
“circuit” trips approximately every six months.
(Id.) At his deposition, Mr. Gallmann, the
government's 30(b)(6) representative, testified that
after an Application to File Petition for Naturalization on
Behalf of Child was filed, it took approximately 18 months
for the New Orleans office to schedule an interview in Fort
Smith. (Doc. 187 at 13-14, Doc. 186 at 3-4.) Dent challenges
whether Mr. Gallmann has actual knowledge sufficient to
support his testimony, (Doc. 188 at 8), and offers statistics
concerning processing times two years later in other U.S.
locations in an attempt to raise an issue of fact as to what
the processing times were in New Orleans in 1984. (Doc. 183
7-8.) Dent further submits various GAO studies in support of
its argument that the INS was, as an institution,
deliberately indifferent to the dangers that delayed
processing presented to minor applicants for citizenship who
were adopted by U.S. citizen parents and whose rights to
apply for citizenship were time-limited. (Id. at
20, 1983, Immigration and Naturalization Services
(“INS”) filed the first interview notice for
Dent's childhood naturalization application, which was
scheduled for August 3, 1983. (Doc. 183 at 3; Doc. 181 at
7-8.) Dent did not appear for his interview because he was in
Honduras at the time. (Doc. 183 at 3; Doc. 181 at 8.) If an
applicant was absent for an interview without an explanation
in 1983, INS procedure was to send the applicant's file
to the record room to await further contact from the
applicant. (Doc. 183 at 4; Doc. 181 at 5.)
months later, on about February 21, 1984, the INS processed
Ms. Dent's request that the INS to reschedule the
interview. (Doc. 181 at 8; Doc. 183 at 3.) In her request for
the rescheduled interview Ms. Dent did not indicate exactly
when her son would return to the United States. The interview was
then promptly set for three weeks later, on March 13, 1984.
(Doc. 183 at 3; Doc. 181 at 8-9.) Dent did not attend this
interview either, as he was still in Honduras. (Doc. 183 at
4; Doc. 181 at 9.)
following Dent's second missed interview, the INS office
in Memphis reassumed responsibility for the circuit
interviews in Fort Smith, Arkansas. (Doc. 181 at 7, Doc. 183
at 3.) Ms. Dent received what appears to be a response to a
contact she made to the Memphis INS office. (Doc. 183 at 5.)
In that response the unidentified INS agent indicated:
Dear Ms. Dent,
So good to hear from you. Am unable to locate Sazar records
in our office as I do not have his Alien card number. Also
include Sazar complete name and date of birth.
We will do all we can to get him his citizenship.
(Id.; Doc. 182-2 at 33.) In response and on the same
form, Ms. Dent has apparently handwritten:
Thank you so much.
Resident Alien number A37082657
Cesar Auguste Jimenez Mendez adopted name Sazar David Dent.
(Is 16 will be 17 Nov. ...