(Click below for new Designation of Standby Guardian form)
Designation of Standby Guardian (updated July 2018)
On June 27, 2018 Gov. Cuomo signed two important bills to help parents at risk of arrest, detention, deportation, or removal due to immigration status make plans in advance for the care, custody, and guardianship of their children “just in case.”
NY Standby Guardian Law
The NY Standby Guardian law now includes parents (or legal guardians) at risk of “administrative separation” due to immigration status, and will enable parents to name a Standby Guardian who will be able to act for 60 days after the “triggering” event (arrest, detention, deportation, removal) before petitioning the court.
A parent can name a Standby Guardian (and an alternate) by completing a Standby Guardian form before two witnesses.
“Administrative separation” refers to a federal immigration matter and means the parent or legal guardian’s arrest, detention, incarceration, deportation, or removal; or official communication by federal, state, or local “authorities” about immigration enforcement that gives reasonable notice that care and supervision of the child may be interrupted or cannot be provided.
After the Standby Guardian receives papers showing “administrative separation” and the consent of the parent (signed by 2 witnesses other than the Standby Guardian), the person named Standby Guardian can then file a petition in Surrogate’s Court (not Family Court) asking a judge to appoint them as Guardian for the children.
A parent (or legal guardian) can also petition the Surrogate’s Court (not Family Court) to appoint a Standby Guardian, who will have the authority to act only if necessary.
The law now authorizes the court to not have a hearing and appoint a guardian ad litem or attorney for the children to report on whether the appointment is in the child’s best interests.
Temporary Care & Custody: “Designation of Person in Parental Relation”
Gov. Cuomo also signed into law a bill that allows a person designated as temporary caretaker for children to act for 12 months (they used to only be able to act for 6 months). The parent can make the designation activate only if necessary if the parent is detained or deported. This temporary care and custody form is formally called a “Designation of Person in Parental Relation.” A parent can renew the temporary care and custody designation every 12 months by signing the form before a notary public. (The person designation by the parent also has to sign the form.)
These new laws will make it easier for parents to plan in advance for their children by naming a Standby Guardian and designating a temporary caregiver “just in case.”
The CUNY School of Law “Planning with Parents” project has moved into the law school curriculum this semester with an elective course. 20 law students are learning about the legal and practical aspects of advance planning for parents at risk of removal and applying what they learn in legal clinics, know your rights workshops, and various projects.
On Saturday, October 14, we joined with the NYC Domestic Workers Alliance for an afternoon legal clinic that included know your rights workshops.
On Sunday, October 22, we partnered with St. Mary’s Church in Woodside for an advance planning know your rights and legal clinic.
On Tuesday, November 14, we made a presentation to the staff of the Consulado De Ecuador, a neighbor of CUNY School of Law in Long Island City.
On Sunday, November 19, we conducted a legal clinic together with know your rights presentations at the Consulate.actividades con cuny
On Sunday, December 3, we again joined with the Consulado De Ecuador at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
During these legal clinics, teams of law students provided parents with information, advice, and assistance with advance planning documents, which we completed using fillable PDFs that we created and printed on site.
It was a great learning experience for the law students, who provided valuable services to parents and family members struggling to deal with the stress and uncertainty of being in a “state of deportability.”
While this decision, issued on January 29, 2018, will not alone protect Ravi Ragbir from removal, Judge Forrest delivered a scathing indictment of our government’s cruel enforcement of immigration laws.
“It ought not to be-and it has never before been-that those who have lived without incident in this country for years are subjected to treatment we associate with regimes we revile as unjust, regimes where those who have long lived in a country may be taken without notice from
streets, home, and work. And sent away. We are not that country; and woe be the day that we become that country under a fiction that laws allow it.”Ragbir-v-Sessions-III-et-al
These are the main documents parents can use to create an advance plan and are available on this site.
Advance Planning Documents for A Child’s “Person”
- Temporary Care & Custody: Designation of Person in Parental Relation (English & Spanish)(Complete English form & follow instructions on form)
- Designation of Standby Guardian
- Designation of Guardian of Minor Children
- Waiver of Process, Renunciation, or Consent to Guardianship
Advance Planning Documents to Manage Property for a Child
- New York State Power of Attorney (Statutory Gifts Rider not included)
- Designation of Custodian under N.Y. Uniform Transfers to Minors Act
- Representative Payee for Social Security Benefits
The Women’s Refugee Commission has excellent guides and reports to help parents who want to plan for the care of their children here.
The materials emphasize that the particular planning documents, tools, and court procedures described are not state specific, so it is important to get information and complete documents that are legally recognized in the parent’s home state.
April 1, 2017 – Family Advance Planning For Immigrants At Risk of Deportation: Training for CUNY School of Law Alums & Students at CUNY School of Law with presentations from Prof. Joe Rosenberg (’86), Sasha Herzig (’12), and Lisa Parisio (’15).
The January 25, 2017 executive orders on immigration enforcement effectively put over 11 million people living in the U.S. at risk of detention and deportation. As a result, parents, caregivers, and others are left exposed to catastrophic legal consequences if they are suddenly separated from their children or lose control of their assets.
CUNY School of Law is mobilizing to help immigrants at risk and their families in New York. On April 1, 2017 more than 50 alumni and students attended an interactive training at the law school on advance planning documents and tools for people who are undocumented, including the temporary care of children, designation of a guardian, New York power of attorney, and other legal forms. The training included cross-cultural lawyering awareness to help participants advise and counsel families and individuals forced to confront these difficult decisions.
Following the training, participants signed up to staff at least one walk-in community legal clinic we have organized, where alumni and law students will work together to assist parents.
For more information:
Click on the link below for a video of this important March 15, 2017 hearing of the NYC Council Immigration Committee: