u-visa submission process
U-Visa Submission Process For Attorneys and Pro Per Petitioners
Requests for Submission of Law Enforcement Certifications to the L.A. City Attorney's Office
In order for this office to review your case for certification, your case must meet the following criteria:
1. The case was handled by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office is a certifying agency generally for misdemeanor cases that occur within the City of Los Angeles. Please try to determine whether your client was the victim of a crime that was prosecuted by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office BEFORE sending your request to this office. For example, felony cases are handled by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. (If you have a court docket, “CA” means City Attorney / “DA” means District Attorney)
2. Your client was a victim of qualifying criminal activity.
3. Your client was helpful, is helpful, or is likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. If your client is under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may assist law enforcement on their behalf. As per California Law, helpfulness is presumed if, your client has not refused to provide information reasonably requested by law enforcement or this Office. (See Cal. Penal Code Section 679.10 for further information).
Procedure for Submission
If you would like the City Attorney’s Office to review your client’s U-Visa Law Enforcement Certification request, please follow the procedure outlined below. Failure to follow the correct procedure may cause delay in our review of your request.
1. Send all requests to:
a. Virginia Cons
Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office
201 North Figueroa Street, Suite 1300
Los Angeles, CA 90012
b. PLEASE NOTE: SENDING REQUESTS TO ANY ADDRESS OTHER THAN THE ONE ABOVE LIKELY RESULT IN A DELAY IN PROCESSING THE REQUEST
d. For purposes of our meeting the time deadlines contained in Penal Code Section 679.10, we consider the day of our receipt of the request (at the address or email above) to be day 1 of 90, or day 1 of 14 as defined by the statute.
2. Include the following information in your request:
- Case Name (Name of Defendant)
- Case Number (or LAPD DR number)
- Date of Birth of Defendant
- Victim/Client’s Name (and “other names used”)
NOTE: We do not file or retrieve cases by victim name.
3. Upon receipt of your request, we will:
a. ORDER THE FILE:
- Since many files are kept in an off-site storage facility, these files are not readily available. Older files may not be able to be located. If you have an upcoming court date, or any other reason why your request should be expedited, please advise us of the date that you need a response with as much notice as possible.
- If your client is in removal proceedings, please let us know at the time of your request.
b. REVIEW THE CASE FILE:
- If, after our review, it appears that a victim qualifies, our office will complete an I-918, Supplement B Certification and mail it to you by U.S. Mail at the address provided. If you prefer Overnight Mail or some other service, please provide a prepaid addressed envelope.
- If you want us to send a copy by email, please provide us with your email information.
- If, after our review of the case file, it appears that a victim does not qualify, our office will advise you of that result as well.
NOTE: The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office is not the custodian of records for the Los Angeles Police Department and cannot provide you with a copy of the police report. You must obtain the report directly from the Los Angeles Police Department.
4. We now have designated certifiers in each of our branches. Accordingly, after receipt of a request, we will be forwarding requests to the appropriate branch. The branch certifiers are as follows:
a. Family Violence: Pallavi Dhawan: Pallavi.Dhawan@lacity.org or 213-202-5467
b. Central: Kenneth Hsu: Kenneth.Hsu@lacity.org or 213-978-7895
c. Van Nuys: Brian Sottile: Brian.Sottile@lacity.org or 818-374-3300
d. San Fernando: Christine Whitaker: Christine.Whitaker@lacity.org or 818-374-6800
e. Pacific: Jeanie Lewin: Jeanie.Lewin@lacity.org or 310-202-3861
f. San Pedro: TBD (for inquiries, please call 310-732-4600)
g. Metro: Benjamin Karabian: Benjamin.Karabian@lacity.org or 213-978-2400
5. How this will impact you:
a. Decisions regarding requests for U-Visa Law Enforcement Certifications will be made by the branch certifier and sent to you directly from the branch.
b. If you need an update, you can contact the branch coordinator directly, or, if you don’t know which branch, contact Virginia Cons and she will let you know. Virginia.Cons@ lacity.org / 213-202-5400.
c. In the event that there is a problem that stems from a legal issue or a misapplication of the law, you can contact Pallavi Dhawan, Director of Domestic Violence Policy & Prevention at Pallavi.Dhawan@lacity.org. However, please do not contact Ms. Dhawan for the sole purpose of changing a decision made by the branch coordinator unless that change is necessitated as a matter of law.
Other Important Information:
Requests for U-Visa Law Enforcement Certifications are considered Brady material pursuant to Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) and cases following. The impact of this is as follows:
If you request a U-Visa Law Enforcement Certification from either the City Attorney’s Office OR LAPD while a criminal case is open, the request and any disposition of the request will be disclosed to criminal defense counsel. While we will do our best to keep the information from being admitted at trial, that is up to the Court hearing the matter. If admitted, it is likely that your client will be cross-examined by defense counsel regarding the request.
If you provide information to the City Attorney’s Office to accompany your request for a U-Visa Law Enforcement Certification such as client declarations, letters, etc., that information may have to be disclosed to the defense as part of the discovery obligations of this Office. (See California Penal Code Section 1054.1.)
The information here is for the
L.A. City Attorney’s Office only.
u-visa submission process