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Chapter 5 - Motions Before the Immigration Court

5.1 - Who May File

(a) Parties — Only a respondent who is in proceedings before the immigration court (or the respondent’s practitioner of record), or the Department of Homeland Security may file a motion.  A motion must identify all parties covered by the motion and state clearly their full names and A-numbers, including all family members in proceedings.  See Chapter 5.2(b) (Form), Appendix E (Cover Pages).  The immigration judge will not assume that the motion includes all family members (or group members in consolidated proceedings).  See Chapter 4.21 (Combining and Separating Cases).

(b) Practitioners of Record — Whenever a party is represented, the party should submit all motions to the Court through the practitioner of record.  See 8 C.F.R. §§ 1003.17(a)(2); 1292.5(a); Chapter 2.1(b)(7) (Filing After Entry of Appearance as Practitioner of Record).

          (1) Pre-decision motions — If a practitioner of record has already filed a Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative Before the Immigration Court (Form EOIR-28), and the immigration judge has not rendered a final order in the case, a motion need not be accompanied by a Form EOIR-28.  However, if a practitioner of record is appearing for the first time, the practitioner must file a Form EOIR-28 along with the motion.  See Chapter 2 (Appearances before the Immigration Court).

          (2) Post-decision motions — All motions to reopen, motions to reconsider, and motions to reopen to rescind an in absentia order drafted or prepared by a practitioner must be accompanied by a Form EOIR-28 or Form EOIR-61.  If accompanied by a Form EOIR-28, the practitioner will be the practitioner of record on the motion and proceedings subsequent to the motion, if any. See Chapter 2 (Appearances before the Immigration Court).   

(c) Persons not Party to the Proceedings — Only a party to a proceeding, a practitioner of record, or a practitioner who drafted, completed, or prepared the document(s) pursuant to a limited appearance for document assistance may file a motion pertaining to that proceeding.  Family members, employers, and other third parties may not file a motion.  If a third party seeks immigration court action in a particular case, the request should be made through a party to the proceeding.