United States Seventh Circuit

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Ortega v. Holder, 08-3642

In an action for a declaration of nationality pursuant to 8 U.S.C. section 1503(a), district court's grant of the government's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is reversed and remanded as the language of section 1503(a)(1), read within the context of section 1503(a) and also read in conjunction with related provisions of Title 8, makes it clear that Congress intended individuals to pursue one of two routes to establish claims for nationality. Specifically, individuals can file an administrative application for a certificate of citizenship, which if denied, could be pursued by way of an action under 8 U.S.C. section 1503(a).

Appellate Information

  • Argued 04/15/2009
  • Decided 01/15/2010
  • Published 01/15/2010


  • RIPPLE, Circuit Judge., Before FLAUM, RIPPLE and SYKES, Circuit Judges.


  • United States Seventh Circuit


  • For Appellant:
  • James A. Morsch, Butler, Rubin, Saltarelli & Boyd, Chicago, IL, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

  • For Appellees:
  • Sheila M. McNulty, Office of the United States Attorney, Chicago, IL, Christopher W. Dempsey, Deparment of Justice, Washington, DC, for Defendants-Appellees.