Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs

 

Read Full-Text Decision

Jamaica-born Watson entered the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident (LPR) in 1998, at 13 years old, to live with his LPR father. He automatically became a U.S. citizen when his father was naturalized in 2002. A 2007 New York state court guilty plea to selling cocaine led to an investigation of Watson’s citizenship. He was improperly held in immigration detention for three-and-a-half years on the mistaken belief he was deportable. His federal lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) claimed false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, negligent investigation of his citizenship status, and negligent failure to issue a certificate of citizenship until years after his release. Second Circuit reversed District Court’s judgment that the government was liable to Watson on his false imprisonment claim. It found such claim untimely under the FTCA’s two-year limitation period because his claim accrued before Oct. 30, 2011. Otherwise, the circuit affirmed dismissal of Watson’s malicious prosecution. The government did not act with malice. Watson’s negligent investigation claim failed because there was no state law analogue, as required by the FTCA. Watson did not suffer any cognizable damages as a result of the delayed delivery of his certificate of citizenship.

Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs

 

Read Full-Text Decision

Jamaica-born Watson entered the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident (LPR) in 1998, at 13 years old, to live with his LPR father. He automatically became a U.S. citizen when his father was naturalized in 2002. A 2007 New York state court guilty plea to selling cocaine led to an investigation of Watson’s citizenship. He was improperly held in immigration detention for three-and-a-half years on the mistaken belief he was deportable. His federal lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) claimed false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, negligent investigation of his citizenship status, and negligent failure to issue a certificate of citizenship until years after his release. Second Circuit reversed District Court’s judgment that the government was liable to Watson on his false imprisonment claim. It found such claim untimely under the FTCA’s two-year limitation period because his claim accrued before Oct. 30, 2011. Otherwise, the circuit affirmed dismissal of Watson’s malicious prosecution. The government did not act with malice. Watson’s negligent investigation claim failed because there was no state law analogue, as required by the FTCA. Watson did not suffer any cognizable damages as a result of the delayed delivery of his certificate of citizenship.