Articles Posted in Supreme Court of California

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal upholding the ruling of the superior court denying the requests of Bianka M., a minor, for an order placing her in her mother’s sole custody and for findings that would enable her to seek “special immigrant juvenile” (SIJ) status under federal immigration law, holding that the superior court erred in concluding that it could not issue either a custody order or findings relevant to SIJ status unless Bianka first established a basis for exercising personal jurisdiction over her father and joined him as a party to the action. Bianka entered the United States unaccompanied and without prior authorization. In a family court action, Bianka asked to be placed in the sole custody of her mother, who had left Honduras for the United States years before, and sought findings enabling her to seek special immigrant juvenile status, alleging that her father, who resided in Honduras, abandoned her. The superior court denied the requests. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the superior court erred in requiring Bianka’s father to be joined as a party in her parentage action seeking SIJ findings because he received adequate notice and took no steps to participate; and (2) the action may proceed regardless of Bianka’s perceived immigration-related motivations for filing the action. View "Bianka M. v. Superior Court" on Justia Law

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Defendant, a Canadian citizen, pleaded guilty to a drug possession charge. Defendant filed a motion to withdraw the plea on grounds of mistake or ignorance. The trial court denied the motion, concluding that it was insufficient because Defendant had received the standard statutory advisement that a criminal conviction may have the consequences of deportation. The Court of Appeal affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that receipt of the standard statutory advisement that a criminal conviction “may” have adverse immigration consequences does not bar a noncitizen defendant from seeking to withdraw a guilty plea on that basis. Remanded to permit the trial court to determine whether Defendant has shown good cause for withdrawing his plea. View "People v. Patterson" on Justia Law