News & Announcements

Weil Vacates Conviction and Wins Habeas Petition for Long-Term Legal Permanent Resident

Weil has won a 440 motion to vacate a conviction based on ineffective assistance of counsel, as well as a habeas petition requiring a bond hearing on behalf of our client, a long-term legal permanent resident from Peru who pleaded guilty due to the ineffective assistance of prior counsel to an aggravated felony and was placed in removal proceedings.

Weil’s client – whose family (including a U.S. citizen toddler), community and place of employment are all in New York – was referred to the Firm by The Bronx Defenders in 2017. He was held in mandatory immigration detention at a local county jail for 22 months, without ever having the opportunity for a bond hearing.

In November 2018, Weil, with the assistance of The Bronx Defenders and the Immigrant Defense Project, obtained an order vacating our client’s prior conviction for an aggravated felony, which had rendered him deportable and ineligible for most forms of relief from removal. Our client was able to replead to a misdemeanor, thereby removing the conviction as a basis for his deportation from the United States and allowing him to apply for cancellation of removal.  

Despite Weil having vacated our client’s conviction, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security continued to detain the client without a bond hearing and to pursue his removal. In coordination with The Bronx Defenders, Weil filed a petition for habeas corpus in the Southern District of New York to obtain a bond hearing at which DHS had to justify his ongoing, prolonged detention. 

In May 2019, the U.S. district court granted our client's petition and ordered DHS to provide him with an individualized bond hearing within days or to release him immediately. In the subsequent bond proceeding, an immigration judge granted our client a low bond, and he has finally been released. Our client is thrilled to be free and to rejoin his family, especially his young son.

Associates Elizabeth Jaikaran, Jay Minga, Aaron Pereira and Melissa Rutman led the matter, supervised by partner Elizabeth S. Weiswasser.