542 F.3d 1177 (7th Cir. 2008), 07-2611, Sharashidze v. Mukasey

Docket Nº07-2611.
Citation542 F.3d 1177
Party NameOtar SHARASHIDZE, Petitioner, v. Michael B. MUKASEY, Attorney General of the United States, Respondent.
Case DateSeptember 08, 2008
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 1177

542 F.3d 1177 (7th Cir. 2008)

Otar SHARASHIDZE, Petitioner,

v.

Michael B. MUKASEY, Attorney General of the United States, Respondent.

No. 07-2611.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

September 8, 2008

Argued June 4, 2008.

Mark S. Kocol (argued), Chicago, IL, for Petitioner.

Page 1178

James E. Grimes (argued), Department of Justice, Washington, DC, for Respondent.

Before BAUER, WOOD, and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.

WOOD, Circuit Judge.

Otar Sharashidze is a native of Georgia (the country in the Caucasus, not the U.S. state) who was given asylum in the United States on October 25, 1999. Less than three years later, Sharashidze was charged with and convicted of indecent solicitation of a sex act from a minor-a crime punishable as a misdemeanor under Illinois law, see 720 ILCS 5/11-14.1, but considered an aggravated felony for immigration purposes, see 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(A). Because he had committed an aggravated felony, Sharashidze was subject to removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii). On January 26, 2006, an Immigration Judge (IJ) found Sharashidze removable and terminated his grant of asylum, thereby rendering him ineligible to adjust his status to that of a permanent resident.

Sharashidze appealed the IJ's decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The BIA affirmed on May 25, 2006, and this court denied his petition for review on March 16, 2007, at the same time dismissing his due process claim for failure to exhaust. See generally Sharashidze v. Gonzales, 480 F.3d 566, 570 (7th Cir.2007). Although Sharashidze wanted to assert that the IJ did not allow him to present evidence regarding the “countervailing equities" against removing him from the United States, he did not make that argument until too late.

On May 8, 2007, Sharashidze moved to reopen the proceedings on the ground of ineffectiveness of counsel; he also presented an argument for withholding removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). This petition was untimely, but Sharashidze argued that he was entitled under principles of equitable tolling to have the time while his earlier petition for review was pending in this court disregarded. The BIA denied this motion on June 12, 2007, concluding that Sharashidze was not diligent enough to deserve equitable tolling, that it would not reopen the proceedings on its own, and that there were no changed circumstances in Georgia to warrant a different disposition of his case. Sharashidze petitioned for review on July 11, 2007.

Sharashidze's petition suffers from multiple jurisdictional defects. Regardless of the merits of his complaints about the earlier process he received, we must dismiss his petition for want of jurisdiction.

Initially, we must identify the issues that are properly before this court. This court may entertain petitions for review from final orders of removal, including denials of motions to reopen, 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a); if the...

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