In Re Danely C.

11/29/2017 IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF TENNESSEE AT NASHVILLE Assigned on Briefs June 1, 2017 IN RE DANELY C. Appeal from the Chancery Court for Rutherford County No. 16CV-1115 Howard W. Wilson, Chancellor No. M2016-02054-COA-R3-JV M.V.C.1, the mother of Danely C., an undocumented minor born in Honduras, filed a petition in the trial court seeking an order appointing M.V.C. as guardian of her daughter. She further asked the court to make findings as mandated by 8 U.S.C.A. § 1101(a)(27)(J) (2014). Findings favorable to the petitioner are a prerequisite for Danely C. to apply under federal law for special immigrant juvenile status. The petitioner prayed “[t]hat sevice of process issue as necessary upon [Danely C].” The trial court, acting sua sponte, dismissed the petition, finding “no justiciable controversy in this cause.” We vacate the judgment of the trial court and remand for a hearing with respect to the matters contemplated by 8 U.S.C.A. § 1101(a)(27)(J). Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery Court Vacated; Case Remanded CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which W. NEAL MCBRAYER and ARNOLD B. GOLDIN , JJ., joined. Allison Wannamaker, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, M.V.C. The petition was not opposed in the trial court nor on this appeal. The case was submitted to the Court of Appeals on the appellant’s brief only. 1 The petitioner has a hyphenated last name. For ease of reference, we will refer to her as “M.V.C.” No offense is intended. 1 OPINION I. M.V.C. (Mother) filed her petition on July 25, 2016, stating that Danely C. was born on October 6, 2000, in Choluteca, Honduras. The petition further alleges, in pertinent part, as follows: The Minor lived with the [Mother] in Honduras from 2000 until 2004. In 2004, the living conditions in Choluteca, Honduras were deplorable and dangerous. In order to support the Minor and provide her with a better future, the [Mother] made the difficult decision to leave the Minor with the [Mother]’s mother (now age 70) and grandmother (now age 91), while the [Mother] sought to support herself in the United States. This arrangement was difficult and grew worse as the [Mother]’s mother and grandmother aged. The Minor left to join her mother in the United States because her grandmother and great-grandmother had grown too old and ill to care for the Minor, and were unable to protect her from the dangerous conditions in Honduras. The Minor’s father, [M.A.R.], is believed to live in Honduras but his exact location is unknown. The Father has never taken any responsibility for the Minor, and they have no emotional attachment to each other. He has not provided financial or other material support for the Minor. The Minor last saw her father in Honduras on or about March 12, 2014, as she was preparing to join her mother in the United States. Prior to this occasion, the Minor had last seen the Father approximately eight months earlier (in late ...

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