Firm Wins Coram Nobis for Immigration


The Firm won another coram nobis petition this week — this time for a Cuban immigrant who was facing collateral consequences from an old second-degree assault conviction in Baltimore City. This is the second consecutive coram nobis petition we have won in Baltimore City.

In this case, we argued that the old conviction should be thrown out because it was obtained in violation of our client’s Sixth Amendment right to be represented by a lawyer in a criminal trial. In fact, the Petitioner was forced to represent himself at a district court trial — even though he did not speak English and he was not familiar with our legal system. As a result of this conviction, he was subject to a removal order and he was unable to leave the U.S. to visit his family — for fear that if he left he would not be able to return.

How did we win it? We found an old document from the criminal case. The document showed that our client had not been properly informed of his right to counsel by the district court judge. Even though a transcript was not available, this was enough to show a constitutional violation. What’s more, we won this on appeal. A district court judge denied the petition, but we appealed to the circuit court — and won it there.

Coram nobis continues to be extremely difficult to win… but this shows it can be done! For more information contact the Firm.