Press Release April 29, 2021

Appellate Partner David Zimmer Secures U.S. Supreme Court Victory in Immigration Case, Niz-Chavez v. Garland

Building on his 2018 Supreme Court victory in Pereira v. Sessions, Appellate Litigation partner David Zimmer achieved a significant victory in the U.S. Supreme Court in Niz-Chavez v. Garland on April 29, 2021.

Mr. Niz-Chavez is a Guatemalan national who is the primary caretaker and breadwinner for his three young, U.S.-citizen children. The government seeks to remove Mr. Niz-Chavez to Guatemala.  Mr. Niz-Chavez applied for a form of immigration relief called cancellation of removal, which requires ten years of U.S. presence. Under the stop-time rule, the government can stop a noncitizen from accruing additional presence by serving “a notice to appear,” which initiates removal proceedings. In Pereira, a case Mr. Zimmer successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018, the Court held that the government must serve “a notice to appear” that complies with the statute to trigger the stop-time rule.  In Niz-Chavez, Mr. Zimmer successfully argued that the statute’s “notice to appear” provision requires that the government provide the information specified in the statute in a single notice document. Because the government did not serve Mr. Niz-Chavez a single notice document that included all of the required information, the government did not bar Mr. Niz-Chavez from accruing additional time, and Mr. Niz-Chavez is now eligible to apply for cancellation of removal to stay in this country with his family. In addition, because for many years the government rarely served a single notice document, the decision in this case impacts many thousands, and potentially tens of thousands, of other noncitizens as well.

David Zimmer is a partner in Goodwin’s Litigation Department, and a member of its Appellate Litigation practice. His expertise lies in U.S. Supreme Court and appellate matters and complex commercial litigation with a particular focus on intellectual property, administrative law, and consumer financial services.

The Goodwin team was led by Zimmer, Ben Hayes and Jerry Cedrone.