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In re Maria E.S.G. (Anonymous)

Supreme Court of New York, Second Department

February 5, 2014

In the Matter of Maria E.S.G. (Anonymous), appellant,
v.
Jose C.G.L. (Anonymous), respondent. (Docket No. G-11620-12)

Bruno Joseph Bembi, Hempstead, N.Y., for appellant.

WILLIAM F. MASTRO, J.P.REINALDO E. RIVERA JOHN M. LEVENTHAL CHERYL E. CHAMBERS, JJ.

DECISION & ORDER

In a guardianship proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 6, the petitioner appeals from an order of the Family Court, Nassau County (Eisman, J.), dated December 13, 2012, which, without a hearing, dismissed the guardianship petition.

ORDERED that the order is reversed, on the law, without costs or disbursements, the guardianship petition is reinstated, and the matter is remitted to the Family Court, Nassau County, for an expedited hearing and determination of the petition thereafter.

The Family Court erred in dismissing the petition in which Maria E.S.G. sought to be appointed as guardian of her natural child. A natural parent may be appointed as guardian of his or her own child (see Matter of Marisol N.H., _____ A.D.3d _____ [decided herewith]; SCPA 1703). Here, the petitioner has alleged that appointing her as guardian would be in the best interests of the child since it would enable the child to apply for special immigrant juvenile status (hereinafter SIJS) (see Matter of Marisol N.H., _____ A.D.3d _____ [decided herewith]). According to the petitioner's submissions, the child's father has abandoned the child, and, without SIJS, the child may be returned to El Salvador where gang members have threatened her and no one is there to support or protect her.

Accordingly, since the Family Court dismissed the subject petition without conducting a hearing or considering the best interests of the child, the matter must be remitted to the Family Court, Nassau County, for an expedited hearing and determination of the guardianship petition thereafter (see Matter of Francisco M.-G. v Marcelina M.-G., 100 A.D.3d 900, 901; Matter of Ashley W. [Verdele F.], 85 A.D.3d 807, 809).

MASTRO, J.P., RIVERA, LEVENTHAL and CHAMBERS, JJ., concur.


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