Justia Immigration Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Kentucky Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals ruling that the family court erred in declining to conduct a special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) hearing at the disposition phase of a dependency, neglect and abuse case regarding an unaccompanied Guatemalan child, holding that Kentucky courts are not required to engage in SIJ status factfinding. The family court determined that it was without the jurisdictional authority to undertake SIJ findings because such findings were not relevant to the core dependency, neglect, and abuse issues before the court. The mother appealed, arguing that the circuit court erred by not making the findings required for SIJ status. The court of appeals agreed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the General Assembly has not specifically directed Kentucky's courts to make SIJ findings, and therefore, the family could need not make additional findings relevant to the child's SIJ classification, upon request, in every case; and (2) under the circumstances of this case, the proper place for SIJ status factfinding was in federal immigration court. View "Commonwealth v. N.B.D." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals' decision holding that the family court erred in declining to conduct a special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) hearing at the disposition phase of a dependency, neglect and abuse case regarding an unaccompanied Guatemalan child (Child), holding that the Kentucky General Assembly has not specifically directed Kentucky's courts to make SIJ findings. Child was detained by United States immigration authorities in Arizona and temporarily placed with a cousin pending immigration proceedings. An adult resident of Newport, Kentucky filed a dependency petition in the Campbell County Family Court regarding Child. The court concluded that it was without the jurisdictional authority to undertake SIJ findings because such findings were not relevant to the core dependency, neglect, and abuse matters before the court. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Kentucky courts are not required to make additional findings related to SIJ classification unless the court first determines that the evidence to be gathered from such a hearing is relevant to the child's best interests. View "Commonwealth, Cabinet for Health & Family Services v. N.B.D." on Justia Law