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Dear Mr. Mills,

I'm sending this question to you as well; I realized my previous query went to Robert Hollander.

I noticed your answers section and think it is quite relevant to my case.  Perhaps you have a suggestion that may be helpful.

I will spare you the detailed story, as I'm sure it's probably not too different from others you've heard.  My basic problem is I married a foreign woman 3 years ago, under essentially "let's see what happens" circumstances, only to have it become a never-ending disaster.  I was in love or irrationally obsessed with this woman, and was willing to give it a go.  The first year was difficult, but life seemed to be improving.  The second year, things went from bad to worse, and she essentially ignored all efforts at financial, emotional, and marital counseling; the bills and fights kept adding up.  Her petition for permanent residency had not yet been approved; although we had been married for just over two years we had not yet been to the first interview.  I wanted to "save" the marriage, she seemed entirely uninterested in being married, but also appeared uninterested in staying in the US.

Almost a year ago, we had an argument, after which she probably thought I wouldn't support her green card petition (ironically, she was totally wrong, I had never even considered not helping her).  She decided to go to the local police and claim I tried to kill her.  Fabricated injuries and lies led to my being briefly arrested and charged with assault and harassment.  While I was out of the house for a month due to the automatic orders of protection, she moved, taking most property of value, my personal identity papers (my own naturalization papers, birth certificate, SSN card) all papers regarding our marriage and her naturalization request, essentially anything I could use to survive or defend myself.  She continued playing the victim to the local DA, while at the same time trying to entrap me into violating the order of protection.  My complaints to the police about her continued harassment led to them threatening her with arrest, and at least an end to the one-sided contact.  I have been to more court visits than I remember (over 12), with the trial repeatedly being delayed due to lack of evidence, and my lawyer's requests for evidence supporting my side of the story.  As difficult as this has been, I refused to accept the trivial plea bargain (no record, anger management, etc.) as not only would it ruin my career (thorough background checks in my field), it would be an insult to the truth.

However, the legal process continues, the trial dates are delayed repeatedly and the prosecution continues playing legal games.  Subpoenas for evidence on my defense have been ignored, speedy trial dismissal petitions have been ignored & challenged.  I still do not have any idea when this process will end, whether I will ever get any of my papers and/or property back or any sort of equitable debt redistribution, and how I can fight back in this situation as my options seem nearly nil.  Survival seems to be the only thing I can do, and as you can imagine given the constant legal games this is becoming more and more financially painful.

As my friend put it, "you should choose your wives more carefully next time."  Other than that definitely helpful advice, what can I do in this situation?

Answer
Although interesting, your question is not really immigration related.  It is more criminal in nature and therefore is governed by state law, which I am not licensed to dispense advice under (probably, since I do not know what state this is).  From an immigration perspective, it sounds as if she has built a decent case for a claim for a green card under the Violence Against Women Act.  You have a serious problem that needs to be addressed by local counsel.  I would suggest though that you consult an attorney about a possible civil case for conversion (theft) of your property.

Immigration Issues

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James D. Mills, Esq.

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding business and family immigration, deportation, removal, exclusion, the immigration consequences of crimes and structuring criminal cases to eliminate or mininize immigration consequences.

Experience

I have been a licensed immigration attorney and a member of the American Immigration Lawyer's association for more than five years.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyer's Association.

Education/Credentials
Juris Doctorate, Rutgers School of Law- Camden, 1997

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