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Ramos v. United States Dep't of Justice

December 1, 2008

ANTHONY E. RAMOS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina United States District Judge

Document Nos. 62, 70

MEMORANDUM ORDER

DENYING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO ALTER OR AMEND JUDGMENT UNDER RULE 59(e) AND DENYING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT UNDER RULE 60(b)*fn1

I. INTRODUCTION

This case comes before the court on the plaintiff's two motions for reconsideration. The plaintiff brought suit challenging the Board of Immigration Appeals' ("the Board") decision to disbar him from practice before it, immigration courts and the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS"). The plaintiff moved for the Board to reopen the disciplinary proceedings that resulted in his expulsion from practice and authorized publication of the disciplinary action against him. The Board denied that motion. On March 7, 2008, the court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment, rejecting the plaintiff's arguments regarding alleged deficiencies in the Board's decision. The plaintiff's current arguments merely restate those already rejected by the court. As addressed in more detail below, the Board's decision and this court's decision were thoroughly reasoned and based on facts in the record. Accordingly, after reviewing the submissions and finding no reason to revisit its decision, the court denies the plaintiff's motions.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Factual History

The plaintiff is an attorney who formerly practiced law in Florida. Admin. Record ("AR") at 000147 (Sup. Ct. of Fl. Order Dec. 18, 1997). As a result of numerous instances of professional misconduct including lying to a tribunal, misappropriation of client funds, forging client signatures, misrepresentation to successor counsel, improper collection of excessive fees and representing a client without authority, the Supreme Court of Florida disbarred the plaintiff from practice in that state on December 18, 1997. AR at 000148-162.

In addition to practicing law in Florida, the plaintiff has also entered his appearance on behalf of clients before DHS. AR at 000037-43. On December 6, 2004, the Board initiated reciprocal disciplinary proceedings and expelled the plaintiff from practicing before the Board, the immigration courts and DHS. See AR at 000004-5. The plaintiff administratively challenged that decision through various filings, but the Board rebuffed his attempts because "[t]he final order of disbarrment [in Florida] creat[ed] a rebuttable presumption that disciplinary sanctions should follow," Def.'s Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot. for Mandatory Inj. and Mot. for Summ. J. ("Def.'s Mot."), Ex. 1 at 2 (citing 8 C.F.R. § 1292.3(c)(3)), and the Board concluded that the plaintiff failed to rebut this presumption, AR at 000245-46. The defendants subsequently published notice of the plaintiff's disbarrment on two web pages: one, in a list of attorneys who have been disciplined, and the other, in an Executive Office of Immigration Review ("EOIR") press release reporting that the plaintiff and other attorneys have been disciplined. Def.'s Mot. at 2.

B. Procedural History

The plaintiff initiated this action in the D.C. Circuit Court, but that court, lacking jurisdiction, transferred the case to this court on November 14, 2006. The plaintiff sought review of the Board's refusal to reopen the disciplinary proceedings and asked the court to compel the defendants to remove internet postings that publicize the results of the Board's disciplinary proceedings.

On March 7, 2008, the court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment. In its memorandum opinion, the court rejected the plaintiff's argument that the Board lacked jurisdiction because the plaintiff submitted "numerous 'Notice of Entry of Appearance As An Attorney or Representative' (G-28) forms to DHS, in which he claimed to be an 'agent' for the party appearing before DHS." Mem. Op. (Mar. 7, 2008) ("Mem. Op.") at 8. The court concluded that the Board appropriately addressed all of the plaintiff's arguments and that the Board's decision was "thoroughly reasoned and [] based on facts in the administrative record." Id. at 9. The court also noted that the Board correctly determined that publication of the plaintiff's disbarrment was appropriate because he had given prior consent and because the Board had addressed and rejected the plaintiff's challenges. Id. at 10-11.

Eight days after the court's ruling, the plaintiff filed a motion to vacate, for rehearing and to abate. Pl.'s 59(e) Mot. Three months later, the plaintiff filed another motion, which the court construes as a motion for relief from judgment under Rule 60(b). ...


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