Tourist’s suit vs ICE is dismissed

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The U.S. District Court for the NMI has dismissed the lawsuit filed by a Russian tourist against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for lack of jurisdiction.

District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has dismissed the lawsuit of Denis Uvarov against ICE without prejudice. That means the lawsuit can still be refiled.

In her three-page order, Manglona said the court lacks jurisdiction over Uvarov’s claim because Uvarov failed to exhaust all his administrative remedies, that he has not presented evidence of any final agency decision. Therefore, because he has not yet exhausted his administrative remedies, Uvarov’s complaint is premature.

“Plaintiff requested the return of his passport in July 2020. The emails from the Los Angeles asylum office indicate that they are processing his request,” said Manglona.

Additionally, Manglona pointed out that the U.S. and its agencies enjoy sovereign immunity and can only be sued in court to the extent that the U.S. Congress has waived that immunity.

Manglona also denied Uvarov’s request to proceed without paying fees and costs to file his claims in both lawsuits.

According to his motion, Uvarov is alleging personal injury against ICE and is demanding $80,000 in damages and the return of his passport.

Uvarov claims that ICE seized his passport on June 7, 2018, and never made any good faith effort to set him up for an asylum interview. Uvarov also accused ICE of violating the 1967 international protocol on refugee rights. He said the incident has caused him mental harm, depression, and deprivation.

Uvarov, a citizen of the Russian Federation, arrived on Saipan as a tourist on Nov. 29, 2017, and applied for political asylum at the local ICE office.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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