U.S. Inaction Entitles Immigrant to Fee Award

     BOSTON (CN) – A Russian native is entitled to $4,200 in attorney’s fees after the U.S. government failed to process his naturalization request, the 1st Circuit ruled.

     Alexandre Aronov filed a motion in federal court to compel the United States Citizens and Immigration Service to take action after he waited more than 18 months after his interview for a decision.
     After Aronov was sworn in as an American citizen, he filed a lawsuit to recover his attorney’s fees. Judge Lipez upheld the district court’s ruling that the government did not find a valid exception to the rule that entitles Aronov to the attorney’s fees.
     “Although we acknowledge that the agency has valid – indeed persuasive – reasons for requiring comprehensive FBI name checks,” Lipez ruled, “that policy determination cannot justify the failure to comply with a statutory deadline.”

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