Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Marriage of De Guardado

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

September 11, 2017

In re the Marriage of: Blanca Dora Calles De Guardado, petitioner, Appellant,
v.
Juan Carlos Guardado Menjivar, Respondent.

         Washington County District Court File No. 82-FA-16-3090

          Andrew T. Tyler, Tyler Law Office, L.L.C., Minneapolis, Minnesota (for appellant)

          Juan Carlos Guardado Menjivar, Chalatenango, El Salvador (pro se respondent)

          Considered and decided by Rodenberg, Presiding Judge; Kirk, Judge; and Florey, Judge.

         SYLLABUS

         I. A Minnesota district court has authority to make special-immigrant-juvenile (SIJ) findings in a dissolution proceeding involving a custody determination.

         II. An award of sole legal and sole physical custody of a child to one parent, for purposes of SIJ findings, is a placement "under the custody of . . . an individual . . . appointed by a [s]tate or juvenile court." 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(27)(J)(i) (2012).

          OPINION

          FLOREY, JUDGE.

         In this marital-dissolution-related dispute, appellant-mother Blanca Dora Calles De Guardado argues that the district court (1) was permitted to make SIJ findings, which are state court findings that allow certain immigrant youths to seek permanent-resident status and (2) clearly erred by not making one such finding, that her children were placed under the custody of an individual appointed by a state court. Because we conclude that a district court is authorized to make SIJ findings in a dissolution proceeding and that the district court's award of sole legal and sole physical custody to appellant, for purposes of SIJ findings, is a placement under the custody of an individual appointed by a state court, we reverse and remand.

         FACTS

         Appellant Blanca Dora Calles De Guardado and respondent Juan Carlos Guardado Menjivar have two children, C.C., born in 2005, and B.C., born in 2008. The children were born in El Salvador. Soon after B.C.'s birth, the parties married in El Salvador, and at some point, the parties and the children came to Minnesota.

         Respondent abused both appellant and the minor children, and in July 2016, appellant filed for divorce in Minnesota. In her dissolution petition, she requested sole legal and sole physical custody of the children. She also requested that the district court make specific findings to enable the children to seek SIJ status, a federally created path to permanent residency in the United States. See In re Guardianship of Guaman, 879 N.W.2d 668, 671 (Minn.App. 2016).

         In October 2016, a default hearing was held in the dissolution proceedings. Respondent failed to appear. Appellant requested that the district court make the SIJ finding that the children are "dependent upon the juvenile court or have been legally committed to, or placed under the custody of, an agency or department of a [s]tate, or an individual or entity appointed by a [s]tate or juvenile court." The district court refused to make the SIJ dependency/custody finding, stating that the custody award to appellant did not substantiate the finding, and a dissolution proceeding was not the appropriate forum for such a finding.

         Following the hearing, the district court entered a judgment and decree adjudicating respondent the father of the children and dissolving the parties' marriage. Appellant was granted sole legal and sole physical custody of the children. The district court made a number of findings concerning the abuse perpetrated by respondent. Further, the decree contained some of the SIJ findings proposed by appellant. However, the district court crossed out appellant's proposed SIJ dependency/custody finding. In its place, the court wrote that the children were dependent on "their mother who has been awarded sole legal and physical custody of the parties' minor children."

         Appellant subsequently requested permission to file a motion to reconsider, but the district court refused to permit the motion, noting that it "questioned the legal and precedential authority" supporting appellant's "expanded reading" ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.