Skip to main content

IN RE: SANDY J. M.–M.* (2018)

Reset A A Font size: Print

Appellate Court of Connecticut.


(AC 40602)

Decided: February 09, 2018

Alvord, Sheldon and Prescott, Js. Meghann E. LaFountain in support of the motion.

The petitioner, Sandy J. M.–M., asks this court, by way of a motion filed on January 9, 2018, to reverse summarily the trial court's dismissal of her appeal from a decision of the Probate Court denying her petition seeking special immigrant juvenile status findings. See 8 U.S.C. § 1101 (a) (27) (J) (2012); General Statutes § 45a–608n (b).1 We conclude that the resolution of this appeal is controlled by our Supreme Court's recent decision in In re Henrry P. B.–P., 327 Conn. 312, 173 A.3d 928 (2017), and that summary reversal is appropriate in the circumstances of this case. Accordingly, we grant the petitioner's motion and reverse the judgment of the trial court.

According to the relevant pleadings, the petitioner was born in Guatemala at the beginning of March, 1999, and she entered the United States when she was still a minor. Proceedings to remove her from the United States have commenced. On February 14, 2017, when she was seventeen years old, the petitioner initiated, pursuant to § 45a–608n (b), this proceeding requesting special immigrant juvenile status findings. Pursuant to General Statutes § 45a–610, the petitioner also filed with the Probate Court a petition to remove her father as her guardian. On March 30, 2017, the Probate Court, Yamin, J., dismissed and denied, respectively, the petitions because the petitioner had reached her eighteenth birthday and the court presumably concluded that it lacked the authority to make the requested findings because she was no longer a minor.

On May 1, 2017, the petitioner appealed to the Superior Court from the Probate Court's dismissal and denial of the petitions. In that appeal, the petitioner asserted in part that the Probate Court had improperly dismissed and denied the petitions because even though she had reached her eighteenth birthday, the Probate Court retained the statutory authority to render the requested findings.

On May 25, 2017, the Superior Court, Ginocchio, J., dismissed the appeal from Probate Court, citing to a Superior Court decision that held that it lacked the authority to adjudicate a neglect petition if the minor child turned eighteen years old during the pendency of the petition. See In re Jessica M., 303 Conn. 584, 587–88, 35 A.3d 1072 (2012). On June 29, 2017, the petitioner filed this appeal challenging the propriety of the trial court's dismissal of her probate appeal. On July 27, 2017, this court granted the petitioner's motion to stay the deadline for her to file an appellant's brief until thirty days after the final disposition by our Supreme Court in In re Henrry P. B.–P.

The Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re Henrry P. B.–P., supra, 327 Conn. 316, on December 14, 2017, holding that the Probate Court does not lose its authority to make special immigrant juvenile status findings pursuant to § 45a–608n (b) when the child who is the subject of the petition reaches the age of eighteen during the pendency of the petition. We agree with the petitioner that In re Henrry P. B.–P. controls the resolution of this appeal.

Although our rules of practice do not contain an express provision authorizing a summary disposition of an appeal on the merits, this court has the authority to suspend the rules “[i]n the interest of expediting decision, or for other good cause shown ․” Practice Book § 60–3. If the disposition of an appeal is plainly and undeniably mandated by a decision of our Supreme Court, as in this case, summary disposition is warranted and further adjudication of the appeal would waste precious judicial resources. Summary disposition is particularly warranted if, as in this case, such relief is unopposed and our failure to act expeditiously might prejudice a party by preventing the timely assertion of her rights.

The motion is granted, the judgment of the Superior Court is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings according to law.


1.   General Statutes § 45a–608n (b) provides: “At any time during the pendency of a petition to remove a parent or other person as guardian under section 45a–609 or 45a–610, or to appoint a guardian or coguardian under section 45a–616, a party may file a petition requesting the Probate Court to make findings under this section to be used in connection with a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for designation of the minor child as having special immigrant juvenile status under [8 U.S.C. § 1101 (a) (27) (J) ]. The Probate Court shall cause notice of the hearing on the petition to be given by first class mail to each person listed in subsection (b) of section 45a–609, and such hearing may be held at the same time as the hearing on the underlying petition for removal or appointment. If the court grants the petition to remove the parent or other person as guardian or appoint a guardian or coguardian, the court shall make written findings on the following: (1) The age of the minor child; (2) the marital status of the minor child; (3) whether the minor child is dependent upon the court; (4) whether reunification of the minor child with one or both of the minor child's parents is not viable due to any of the grounds sets forth in subdivisions (2) to (5), inclusive, of section 45a–610; and (5) whether it is not in the best interests of the minor child to be returned to the minor child's or parent's country of nationality or last habitual residence.”


Copied to clipboard