Sailor Awarded Guardianship and Return of Nephew from Mexico with Help of Volunteer Attorney
A Navy servicemember’s 12-year-old nephew was born in the United States to parents who were both in the U.S. illegally. The father was not involved in the child’s life and the nephew’s mother had been deported, requiring him to return with her to Mexico where she could not afford to provide him with an education. Fortunately, the sailor had a close relationship with his nephew and could provide him a better home, educational opportunities and extended family support. At the consent of the nephew’s mother, the sailor wished to obtain guardianship over his nephew and needed legal assistance to accomplish this upon his return from deployment overseas. Within two weeks of referral by the servicemember’s military attorney, the ABA Military Pro Bono Project was able to place the sailor with an experienced pro bono attorney to assist him in his jurisdiction. The volunteer attorney was able to prepare and file a petition and notices of guardianship with the court and, due to the attorney’s assistance, letters of guardianship were ultimately issued to the servicemember for custody of his nephew in the United States.