United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
1981, this court naturalized Petitioner Hang Chi Wu and
issued a Certificate of Naturalization. Wu now seeks to
correct her birth date on her naturalization certificate.
Mot. to Am. Certificate of Naturalization ("Mot. to
Am.") [#l]. The United States Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS) opposes the motion. For the
following reasons, Wu's motion is ALLOWED.
following facts were provided by Wu and have not been
disputed by USCIS. Wu was born in the Republic of China in
1952. Revised Affidavit of Hilda Hang Chi Wu ("Wu Second
Affidavit"), Ex. B - Notarial Certificate &
Translation Certificate [#16]. In 1974, she travelled to Hong
Kong where her father lived. Wu Second Affidavit, ¶ 7.
Her father entered her birth year as 1955 on forms so that
she could attend school. Id. ¶ 9. Later, her
father helped Wu apply for refugee status and resettlement in
the United States. Id. ¶ 11. He filled out her
paperwork and again incorrectly listed her birth year as
United States, Wu used her real birth date on her medical
records, and with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor
Vehicles. Id. ¶¶ 14-15. Medicare also uses
her correct birth date. Id. ¶ 15.
subsequently applied for naturalization and again incorrectly
entered her birth year as 1955. Id. ¶ 13. The
court granted naturalization, and issued a Certificate of
Naturalization on May 21, 1981, that included the incorrect
date of birth that she had provided. Id., Ex. A
-Certificate of Naturalization. Wu asked at the
naturalization ceremony about correcting her date of birth
and an official told her it would be easier to do so later.
Id. ¶¶ 18-19.
unsuccessfully sought to correct her birth date with
immigration officials on multiple occasions. Id.
¶ 4; see also id., Ex. E - Communications with
INS and USCIS. In 2003, she corrected her birth date with the
Social Security Administration. Id., Ex. E - Communications
with INS and USCIS.
Jurisdiction and Standard of Review
parties agree that, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(6), this
court can amend a judgment it has entered, including a
naturalization certificate. Under Rule 60(b)(1) through
(b)(5), a judgment may be amended for a series of reasons not
applicable here, while Rule 60(b)(6) allows amendment
"for any other reason that justifies relief." A
motion under 60(b)(6) must be made "within a reasonable
time." Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(c)(1).
60(b)(6) is "extraordinary relief requiring a party show
(1) the existence of exceptional circumstances justifying
extraordinary relief, (2) the absence of unfair prejudice to
the opposing party, and (3) timeliness. Teamsters.
Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers Union. Local No. 59 v.
Superfine Transp. Co.. Inc.. 953 F.2d 17, 20 (1st Cir.
court begins by considering Wu's need for amending the
certificate judgment and whether the government will be
prejudiced by amendment. See Kouanchao v. U.S.
Citizenship and Immig. Servs.. 358 F.Supp.2d 837, 838-39
(D. Minn. 2005). Wu states that she will not be able to get a
driver's license without amendment. Mot. to Amend 3-4
[#l]. This may not be correct, as Wu presumably can obtain a
driver's license that is not compliant with the Real ID
Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109-13, 119 Stat. 302. See 6 C.F.R.
§ 37.71 (allowing states to issue driver's licenses
and identification cards that are not compliant with the Real
ID Act); 540 C.M.R. §§ 2.O6(3)(b, c)
(differentiating between Massachusetts driver's licenses
that are Real ID Act compliant and "standard
licenses" that are not).
same time, amending the judgment granting Wu naturalization
would allow Wu to obtain a Real ID Act compliant driver's
license. Ensuring that she uses a single, correct birthdate
serves the Congressional purpose of the Real ID Act by
improving the reliability and accuracy of her state-issued
identification documents. See H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 109-72, at
303 (2005) (stating that one of the purposes of the Real ID
Act is to "improve the ability of law enforcement... to
confirm the identity of individuals presenting state issued
driver's licenses"). Since Wu has consistently used
her correct birth date with various state and federal
governmental agencies, amendment will bring her certificate
of naturalization in alignment with her other governmental
addition, there is no disputed fact such that it would burden
the government for the court to amend the original judgment.
Wu has submitted proof that her true birth date is 1952 not
1955 and the government does not contest the document's
validity. Wu Second Affidavit, Ex. B - Notarial Certificate
[#16]. The government does not allege that Wu is engaged in
fraud or has bad faith motivations in filing to correct the