The Second Department, reversing Family Court, determined this proceeding seeking findings to enable the child to apply for special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) should not have been dismissed on the ground that certified copies of birth certificates and/or death certificates were not submitted:
… [P]etitioner … commenced this proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 6 to be appointed as the guardian of the child. Thereafter, the petitioner moved for the issuance of an order … making specific findings so as to enable the child to petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for special immigrant juvenile status (hereinafter SIJS) pursuant to 8 USC § 1101(a)(27)(J). … Family Court dismissed the petition and denied the petitioner’s motion. …
… [T]here is no express requirement to submit certified copies of birth certificates or death certificates in a proceeding such as this pursuant to Family Court Act § 661(a) … . …[S]ince the court dismissed the petition without conducting a hearing or considering the child’s best interests, we remit the matter to the Family Court … . Matter of Anuar S. A. O. (Yari C. B. M. Lizeth O. M.), 2023 NY Slip Op 03353, Second Dept 6-21-23
Practice Point: Certified copies of birth certificates or death certificates need not be submitted in a proceeding for findings enabling a child to apply for special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS). Here the proceeding should not have been dismissed on that ground and the matter was remitted for a determination on the merits.