CACC – California Association of Collaborative Courts

Senate Bill 873 and the Special Immigrant Juvenile Process in the Superior Courts

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 873, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review. Human services.
(1) Existing federal law, the Immigration and Nationality Act, establishes a procedure for classification of certain aliens as special immigrants who have been declared dependent on a juvenile court, and authorizes those aliens who have been granted special immigrant juvenile status to apply for an adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident within the United States. Under federal regulations, state juvenile courts are charged with making a preliminary determination of the child’s dependency, as specified. Existing federal regulations define juvenile court to mean a court located in the United States having jurisdiction under state law to make judicial determinations about the custody and care of juveniles.
Existing law establishes the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, which may adjudge a minor to be a dependent or ward of the court. Existing law also establishes the jurisdiction of the probate court. Existing law regulates the establishment and termination of guardianships in probate court, and specifies that a guardian has the care, custody, and control of a ward. Existing law establishes the jurisdiction of the family court, which may make determinations about the custody of children.
This bill would provide that the superior court, including the juvenile, probate, or family court division of the superior court, has jurisdiction to make judicial determinations regarding the custody and care of juveniles within the meaning of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act. The bill would require the superior court to make an order containing the necessary findings regarding special immigrant juvenile status pursuant to federal law, if there is evidence to support those findings. The bill would require records of these proceedings that are not otherwise protected by state confidentiality laws to remain confidential, and would also authorize the sealing of these records. The bill would require the Judicial Council to adopt any rules and forms needed to implement these provisions.

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