Two New York City immigrants who were deported upon their release from jail several years ago won the right to appeal their criminal convictions. A midlevel New York court had dismissed the requests for appeals, but the top court ruled Tuesday in a split decision that two were entitled under law to an appeal.

The midlevel court had dismissed the appeals on the grounds that the two defendants were absent. The top court ruled that the midlevel court had “abused its discretion” and that the cases should be reviewed on merit. Deportation is not the same as running away from a criminal conviction and thus was not grounds for dismissal. The court was split 4-3 in its decision.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.