Learn About Court on the 8th and 9th Floors of 100 Montgomery Street (SF)
Learn About Court on the 8th and 9th Floors of 100 Montgomery Street (San Francisco)
Prepared by: The Bar Association of San Francisco
Date: August 27, 2015
There are volunteer lawyers to help children and families on at the San Francisco Immigration Court. They will be at the court on the day of your hearing to explain what is happening. Go to your courtroom on the day of your hearing and ask to see the pro bono attorney.
You will meet with the volunteer attorney before you see the judge. All of the volunteer attorneys speak English and Spanish. They will ask you some questions about why you came to the United States and what happened along the way. They will only assist you for the day of your hearing, not for your entire case. But they will make recommendations of non-profit organizations that offer legal services for you to contact. If you give your permission, they will give your information to the staff at The Bar Association of San Francisco, who will also try to find you a lawyer.
The volunteer lawyers who help children and families do not work for the government. They work at private firms and at nonprofit organizations that help people who do not have enough money to pay a lawyer.
What happens at your first hearing
The most important thing to do is to go to court on the date and time of your hearing. Bring Your Notice to Appear (NTA), or hearing notice, with you. You can bring a parent, another family member, or a friend to Court as well, if that person has lawful status in the Unites States.
If this is your first hearing, do not worry if you do not have a lawyer yet. You can ask the judge for more time to find a lawyer. The judge will tell you when to come back to court and will give you a piece of paper with information about your next hearing date. If you do not have a copy of your NTA, the government can give you another copy.
Also, if you have recently moved or plan to move before your next hearing date, tell the judge and volunteer attorney. It is very important that the Court have your correct address at all times. If the Court changes the time or date of your next hearing, the Court will mail you a new hearing notice to the address it has on file for you. If you do not receive that notice and do not show up to the new hearing, you may be ordered deported.
The address of the court is 100 Montgomery Street, Suite 800, San Francisco, CA 94104. If you get lost or if you are not able to find the Attorney of the Day, please call the Bar Association of San Francisco at (415) 782-8974 and ask for the Immigration Case Coordinator. He will be able to help you.
Know Your Rights presentations for children and guardians (for unaccompanied minors only)
Before first hearings for unaccompanied minors, a non-profit organization called the Immigration Center for Women & Children (ICWC) provides Know Your Rights presentations at the Immigration Court to help you and your family understand the process. The presentation will be given to everyone who is in court without a lawyer, before you see the judge and before you speak with the volunteer attorney. The presentation is given in Spanish.