Instructions - Master Calendar Hearing


Location:                                                                      Detained Hearings:

Immigration Court                                                         INS Detention & Deportation Section

7850 Metro Parkway, Suite 320                                   2901 Metro Drive, Lower Level

Bloomington, Minnesota 55425                                    Bloomington, Minnesota 55425

Telephone: (612) 725-3765                                          Telephone: (612) 725-3765



Directions to the Court:

The Immigration Court is located in Bloomington, near the Mall of America.  Take Highway 494 to the 24th Avenue exit.  Go south on 24th Avenue (towards the Mall of America).  Turn east/left on 80th Street.  Turn left on Metro Drive into the Metro Office Park complex, which is located midway between 24th and 34th Avenues.  Follow Metro Drive to Metro Parkway.   Turn left on Metro Parkway.  The Immigration Court is located on your left.  There is free parking at the building.  The Immigration Court is not located in the same building as the INS.




Logistics of the Master Calendar Hearing


The Immigration Court is in Suite 320.  There is a waiting room where all respondents and their attorneys wait prior to being called for their hearing.  Generally, all first appearances are scheduled at 9:00 am, and all reset hearings are scheduled at either 11:00 or 11:30 am.


Upon arriving at the court, write your name and your client=s name and Alien Registration number on the sign-in sheet on the bulletin board in the waiting room.  If you do not have an attorney, sign in on the Pro Se list.  Cases are called by the clerk in the order of arrival.


The Immigration Court should provide an interpreter for all respondents.  If there is no interpreter available, your case should be rescheduled.


Appearance before the Immigration Judge


Attorneys and representative must file Form EOIR-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance, with the Immigration Judge before being allowed to speak for their client.  A copy of the EOIR-28 must be served upon the INS Office of District Counsel (trial attorney).  Appearance may be entered prior to or at the time of the Master calendar hearing.  Attorneys will not receive notice of schedule changes or other correspondence from the Court or District Counsel if they have not entered their appearance.




Local Operating Procedures of the Immigration Court require that persons appearing at their Master calendar hearing be prepared to plead to the allegations in the Notice to Appear and state the relief from removal that they will be seeking at their Individual calendar hearing.


Pleading to the Allegations:  If the factual allegations in the Notice to Appear are correct, they should be admitted.  If the allegations are incorrect, of course, they should be denied.  It is the INS=s burden to establish that the person is removable as charged.


Designating Country of Removal:  The Immigration Judge will ask you to designate a country of removal.  If you are filing for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under Article 3 of the Convention Against Torture, you should decline to designate the country of removal.  Do not designate that the respondent will return to a country in which they fear persecution.  The Immigration Judge will usually direct removal to the person=s country of citizenship.


Requesting Relief from Removal: Ask for relief from removal in the form of Asylum, Withholding of Removal, relief under Article 3 of the Convention Against Torture (if applicable), and, in the alternative Voluntary Departure (if qualified).


                                                                    INS Exhibits


The INS attorney at the Master calendar will typically serve copies of the latest State Department Country Reports on your client.  Copies of the Asylum Officer=s Assessment of your client=s case (if referred by the Asylum Office) may also be served upon you by INS at this hearing.  Objections to these exhibits may be reserved until you have had an opportunity to review them.


                                                           Miscellaneous Matters


Estimate the amount of time necessary for the hearing.  Generally, asylum hearings are scheduled for three hours (morning hearings) or four hours (afternoons).


If necessary, request that the Court supply any needed interpreters for the Individual calendar hearing.  Specify the particular dialect your client speaks.  Remember to request an interpreter for witnesses who do not speak English even if your client plans to testify in English.


If you wish to file a new Form I-589, Application for Asylum, the Immigration Judge will schedule a new Master calendar appearance for this filing.  Filing of Form I-589 must be done in person.


The Immigration Judge will often schedule a Acall-up@ date by which additional documents are due in the case.  If the judge does not schedule a call-up date, all documents are due no later than 10 days before the final hearing, pursuant to the Local Operating Procedures.


                                                            Follow-Up With Client


Remember to remind your client that if they fail to appear for any scheduled Immigration Court hearing they may be ordered removed in absentia.  If you receive a Fingerprint Notification from the INS District Counsel, your client should appear as directed on that notice.


For more information, contact

Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights
310 Fourth Avenue South Suite 1000
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1012.
Tel: 612-341-3302, Fax: 612-341-2971

E-mail: [email protected]