About the Court
The Pearsall Immigration Court falls under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, which is a component of the Executive Office for Immigration Review under the Department of Justice.
The Immigration Court does not accept faxes or other electronic submissions unless the transmission has been specifically requested by the Immigration Court staff or the Immigration Judge. Unauthorized transmissions are not made part of the record and are discarded without consideration of the document or notice to the sender.
HOURS OF OPERATION:
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
** This immigration court is located in a Department of Homeland Security controlled detention facility. For information about the facility, including entry, please visit the South Texas Detention Complex website.
Public Health Practices
Consistent with public health officials’ guidance, EOIR has implemented practices to help to protect all people working in and visiting EOIR spaces throughout the country. Please see the agency’s Public Health Notice for more information.
EOIR operates within a variety of settings across the country, most commonly in federal or leased buildings controlled by the General Services Administration and detention facilities operated by the Department of Homeland Security. All visitors to any building or facility in which an EOIR operation is located are required to comply with all relevant laws or policies governing access to those buildings or facilities. Individuals who do not comply with any relevant laws or policies may be denied access to or asked to leave the building or facility. Individuals seeking to visit any building or facility in which an EOIR operation is located are encouraged to contact the building or facility in advance to determine any relevant policies or laws related to entry.
The immigration court has put into place procedures to implement the guidance of public health officials. Please take note of the information below and be prepared to follow these and any additional instructions provided to you when you arrive for your hearing.
- Be prepared – have a mask available. Face coverings may be required in the courtroom if directed by the presiding immigration judge. As necessary and when appropriate, individuals with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a face covering should alert the judge to their situation.
- To maintain appropriate social distancing and best facilitate hearings, you may be asked to move or leave a particular area.
- Waiting times to enter the building and EOIR space may be significantly longer than usual. Make arrangements to arrive in advance of your hearing so you arrive to the courtroom on time.
- Social distancing (maintaining a distance of six feet from those with whom you do not live) is required.
- Please remember this while choosing to enter an elevator. Elevator wait times may be significantly longer than usual for this reason.
- In EOIR space, staff or signs may direct you to a seat. If instructed to sit in a particular location, do not switch seats.
- Please do not bring people with you into EOIR space unless they are required to be present for your hearing. Remember that the immigration court may limit entry..
IMMIGRATION COURT STAFF:
|Charles P. Koutras, Assistant Chief Immigration Judge|
|Stuart D. Alcorn||Robert Reid McKee|
|Elizabeth Martinez||Walter L. "Bud" Paulissen|
IMMIGRATION COURT PROCEDURES:
For information regarding procedures for practice before the immigration courts, please see the Immigration Court Practice Manual.
HELPFUL LINKS AND INFORMATION
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and are therefore separate from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). For more information about those DHS offices, please see the following links:
News Media/Congressional Inquiries: News media and congressional inquiries regarding the immigration court must be directed to the EOIR Communications and Legislative Affairs Division (CLAD):
Communications and Legislative Affairs Division
5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1800
Falls Church, VA 22041
Holidays and Emergencies: The immigration court is open Monday to Friday except for federal holidays. The Office of Personnel Management publishes a list of the observed dates of every federal holiday by year online at this link: OPM holidays. Additionally, the court may have to unexpectedly close due to inclement weather or another emergency. When necessary, information on immigration court closures or changes to the immigration court’s operating hours is available at the following links: (1) Twitter and (2) Facebook.
- eRegistry: Attorneys and accredited representatives are required to register with EOIR in order to represent respondents in immigration court. More information is available at the following link: eRegistry Validation Process.
- Legal Self-Help Center: The EOIR, Office of Legal Access Programs has created numerous self-help materials with many helpful resources for respondents, including information on what to do if respondents have moved or missed a hearing.
- Notarios: EOIR warns respondents about immigration fraud perpetrated by notarios who claim to provide legal assistance but are unable to represent respondents in immigration court, provide legal services, or give legal advice. For more information, please see the following documents:
- EOIR Notice, “Do Not Be a Victim of Immigration Fraud: ‘Notarios,’ Visa Consultants, and Immigration Consultants are NOT Attorneys – They CANNOT Represent You in Immigration Court” (July 22, 2009).
- Fact Sheet, “EOIR’s Programs to Fight Fraud, Abuse, and Ineffective Representation in Immigration Proceedings” (March 2016).
- Appeals: Immigration court decisions are first appealable to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Instructions on how to file an appeal and the Appeals Form EOIR-26, Notice of Appeal from a Decision of an Immigration Judge, are available online in the E-26 and appeal instructions. The BIA website contains more information on the appeals process and procedure.
- Virtual Law Library: The EOIR Virtual Law Library (VLL) contains many other legal resources and country conditions research resources as well as other reference materials.
- Observing court: Generally, immigration court proceedings are open to the public. An overview of when immigration court hearings might be closed as well as general guidelines for behavior when observing immigration court hearings are available at the following link: Observing Immigration Court Hearings. Note, the use of electronic devices, including audio/visual recordings of hearings and taking photographs, is prohibited in immigration court.