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IMMIGRATION LAW the u.s. immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is not entitled to the presumption that a hearing notice it sent to a Chilean family living in California was ever delivered because the notice bore the wrong ZIP code, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said on June 24. Busquets-Ivars v. Ashcroft, No. 02-70643. The Busquets family had applied for asylum and withholding of deportation. As required by 8 U.S.C. 1229(a)(1), the INS sent a hearing notice, but used the wrong ZIP code with an otherwise correct mailing address. After missing the hearing, the Busquets were ordered removed in absentia. When the Board of Immigration Appeals decided not to reopen the case, the Busquets appealed. The 9th Circuit noted that under the 1884 U.S. Supreme Court case Rosenthal v. Walker, it is presumed that a properly directed piece of mail given to the Postal Service has been delivered, but no presumption exists for certified mail when the sender does not receive the return receipt. Here, the INS used certified mail, but could not produce a return receipt. Although the Busquets never said they did not get the notice, the 9th Circuit held that the notice was not “properly directed” so as to invoke the presumption of delivery. Consequently, the Busquets are entitled to review of their removal order.

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