In September, 2008, The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota decided an important mandamus/Administrative Procedures Case (APA) case based on an Application for Naturalization (N-400) where the case had been pending for two years. In Ali v. Frazier, 575 F.Supp 2d 1084 (2008), the court dismissed the mandamus claims finding that the APA also offers relief and, thus, mandamus is not appropriate as it is only a cause of action of last resort. The court also dismissed the case against the FBI finding that there was no required duty by the FBI to conduct name checks. Instead, the court found the FBI only has an implied duty by Congress and the required duty falls to USCIS to adjudicate application within a reasonable amount of time.
In denying the government's motion to dismiss, the court held that as the N-400 had been pending for two years and USCIS had not requested that the FBI expedite the name check that USCIS has not done everything in it's power to adjudicate the application in a reasonable time. Therefore, the plaintiff's stated a cause of action and could continue to pursue relief under the APA.
To read Ali v. Frazier, click here.
By Michelle Richart