Clinic students Erika Ewing and Lauren Wylie argued on papers and in court that our clients’ mother should be appointed as their legal guardian, but the Nassau County Family Court denied their request without a full hearing.
The Second Department overturned the Family Court decision, thanks primarily to the detailed and thorough record that Ewing and Wylie had made, and remanded the case for hearing.
This is obviously a life-changing decision for the clients, but, more broadly, the decision firmly clarifies that children who are seeking lawful immigration status as a special immigrant juvenile can petition to have their own parents appointed as their guardians. That question had been widely debated in New York Family Courts.
The case was reported by the New York Law Journal on February 10, 2014, and was accompanied by an article that same day.