‘RHONJ’: Could Joe Giudice’s Decision to Return to Italy Hurt His Appeal?

Joe Giudice shared a video of his new abode in Italy shortly after arriving in his native country. While his current digs are nowhere near as luxurious as his home in Montville, New Jersey, it is far better than where he’s spent the last four years of his life. Giudice was locked up in federal prison then released directly into the care of immigration agents. His detention in an ICE facility ended when a judge agreed to let Giudice await the decision of his final appeal back in Italy. If Giudice’s appeal is successful, he’ll be allowed to return to the United States. If the court chooses to uphold the judgment of lower courts, Giudice will not be able to ever return to American soil.  While life seems to be going alright for Giudice in Italy, many fans are wondering if he somehow hurt his case by returning to Italy.

Why did Joe Giudice decide to return to Italy?

Giudice’s decision to leave the United States was not an easy one but the chance at freedom after several years behind bars was undoubtedly enticing. Giudice had asked a court to allow him to wait out his appeal process back at his home in New Jersey, but the judge didn’t go for it. Giudice had two options; he could either remain behind bars while his appeal process continued, or he could leave the country. He chose the latter.

Surely, his decision to return to Italy had something to do with his relationship. His wife, Teresa Giudice, only infrequently visited him while he was jailed, and she didn’t visit while the father of four was detained by ICE agents, either. That means his kids didn’t come to hang out with him when they had the option either. By leaving the county, not only did Giudice gain his freedom, but he was also given the opportunity to reconnect with his family. His family traveled to see him in Italy in November 2019, and while their Christmas plans are still up in the air, Giudice’s four daughters may reunite with him again in the coming months.  

Could his decision hurt his appeal?

Giudice left an ICE facility in October 2019. He was escorted directly from the facility onto a flight bound for his native country of Italy. His brother and mother were awaiting his arrival, and while finally being out of the facility was surely a relief, he wasn’t headed where he wanted to be headed. Some fans were concerned that Giudice’s decision to await his fate back in Italy could hurt his appeal process. That, however, doesn’t seem to be the case.

Joe and Teresa Giudice
Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice | Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

According to NOLO, if an individual chooses to leave the United States after a deportation order is issued, he or she forfeits their right to appeal the decision. In these cases, the decision becomes final, meaning the deported party can not reenter the United States. That is not what happened in Giudice’s case, though.

Giudice’s appeal process was already underway when he agreed to leave American soil. In doing so, he simply decided to await the final decision outside of the ICE facility. He did not forfeit his right to an appeal because the appeal process was already underway. In short, Giudice’s decision to leave should have no bearing on the final outcome of his case.

Is Giudice likely to ever return to the United States?

Giudice seems to be setting up a life for himself in Italy, and that’s probably a good idea. The odds of being allowed to reenter the United States are reportedly slim. According to People Giudice’s lawyer noted that, because there is no new information to offer to a higher court, they are likely to uphold the lower court ruling. That ruling would see Giudice stripped of the ability ever to enter the United States again.

In a recent clip for The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Giudice’s lawyers told Teresa and her brother, Joe Gorga, that the odds of Giudice being allowed to return to the United States are significantly less than 10%. The process could also take many months, and it’s not implausible that a final decision will not be made for another year. If the deportation order is upheld, Giudice will not allowed to enter the United States for any reason.