There is no set deadline for the Ninth Circuit Court to come up with an answer to an appeal. However, the court does have estimates for how long it could take to get an answer to your appeal, based on the type of case it is. In general, though, it can take many months and even a few years to get a decision on your appeal through the Ninth Circuit.
How Long Does It Take for a Decision to Be Made on a Civil Case?
Civil cases cover a wide range of issues, from personal injury damages to discrimination to business law. It’s a challenge for the court to get through such a breadth in their caseload quickly.
The Ninth Circuit estimates that it takes about 12 to 20 months from filing the notice of appeal to reach the oral argument stage of the process. If you (or your immigration lawyer) submit the appeal brief on time, it could be nine to 12 months from the date of submitting that document. Then, add another three to 12 months to get the decision.
Since immigration issues are complex, you can expect a non-criminal immigration appeal — such as appealing denied asylum or visa from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services — to follow the same rough guidelines.
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How Long Does It Take for a Decision to Be Made on a Criminal Case?
In general, the Ninth Circuit estimates that it takes between four and five months after submitting the brief for the oral argument to take place for criminal cases. After the oral argument, you can expect to wait at least another three months to a year to get the decision.
If you are appealing charges or penalties for a criminal immigration case, this is the timeline you would likely expect.
The Ninth Circuit Is Very Busy
In 2021, the total number of filings as well as filings for civil and criminal appeals fell across all the U.S. Courts of Appeals, according to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
Appeals for administrative agency decisions, like those appealing decisions by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), rose by nearly 18%. Plus, 85% of all administrative agency decision appeals were against the BIA in nearly every circuit, but especially in the Ninth Circuit Court. Though filings by immigration defendants have fallen by more than 50% since 2020, Arizona alone had over 2,700 appeals filed in 2021. That’s not including BIA appeals.
The Ninth Circuit Court is generally one of the busiest circuit courts — there are 15 districts (including nine whole states and two U.S. territories) under its umbrella. That includes California, which is one of the most populous states in the country. In addition, the Ninth District covers the West Coast, including much of the Southwest region where many of the country’s immigration petitions and appeals occur.
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How a Lawyer Can Help Speed Up the Ninth Circuit Appeals Process
It’s hard to give you an estimate on how long it will take the Ninth Circuit to decide on your immigration case. While we can’t guarantee you a specific timeline, we can work hard to make your case as efficient as possible, potentially speeding it up in the process.
Here’s how an immigration lawyer can ensure you get a decision as soon as possible:
- Make sure you file a Notice of Appeal or Petition for Review before the initial deadline
- Help you complete the right paperwork at the right time
- File your notice, petition, and brief to the right courts
- Ensure all your documents are accurate
- Create a strong brief that outlines all the facts that support your case
- Prepare a strong oral argument that provides the facts to the court
- Check on the status of your appeal
- Follow up with the court to verify the receipt of documents and get status updates
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Don’t Wait — Get Help with Your Ninth Circuit Court Appeal Today
The team at New Frontier Immigration Law has experience fighting for our clients in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. We know that the process is complex and time-consuming. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping people like you navigate all your legal options for getting legal immigration status or fighting harsh penalties.
We have years of experience in the Ninth, Fifth, and Sixth Circuit Courts, state supreme courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court. We can use this experience to guide you through every step of your application and appeal to make sure you get a decision from the Ninth Circuit as soon as possible. Contact our office today to schedule your strategic session with an immigration attorney from our firm.