It's been a year since we filed an appeal with the local office and they still haven't sent it to the BIA to render a decision. Can we file writ of mandamus??
A Writ is a federal civil action to compel a certain federal agency to do their job when the duration of that action is unreasonably delayed essentially. You may access the Writ applicability to this case by bringing your file to an office of an experienced immigration attorney. I recommend Alexander Segal, for that matter.
This is one of the problems with appealing certain USCIS denials to the BIA. You have to file the Notice of Appeal with USCIS and they sit on it for what can often be years (if not what seems like forever) before forwarding it to the Board which can then take years itself to render a decision. Thus, filing an appeal is not always the best way to proceed.
If the amount of time has been unreasonable you can certainly file a complaint in U.S. District Court requesting the Court to issue a writ of mandamus compelling USCIS for forward the record of proceedings to the BIA. However, like the saying goes, you need to be careful what you ask or or you might get it. Depending on the facts of the case you may in fact be better off (believe it or not) without a decision on the appeal as a denial is without prejudice to the filing of a new application. Additionally, you need to anticipate the defenses that USICS and the U.S. Attorney's Office will present.
Before rushing to file in Federal Court consult with an immigration attorney who ha experience dealing with cases of your type and Federal Court litigation. Not many immigration attorneys have experience in the latter and you definitely want someone who knows his or her way around the Federal Courtroom as it's much different than Immigration Court.
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