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Maria L.’s Story  

Author:  Veronica T. Thronson.; Leslye Orloff.; Carole Angel.; Sorataya Fata Rocio Molina.; Benish Anver Kalli Wells.

Source: Volume 09, Number 02, Fall 2016 , pp.11-14(4)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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Maria L.’s Story is a case study that provides a detailed narrative of the case of a Guatemalan mother who, due primarily to her lack of understanding of the English language, ended up being charged with medical neglect of her child by uncomprehending DHHS workers. While her child neglect/child custody case was unfolding, Maria L. was taken into custody by immigration officials and was deported. After losing her parental rights termination case, the trial court’s decision was overturned by the Nebraska Supreme Court. The success of the appeal could not have taken place without the help of legal advocates who were schooled in the legal knowledge and strategies described later in this article. As the authors put it, Maria L.s’ legal situation was an exceedingly complex one, involving “immigration, custody, child abuse and neglect, language access, civil rights and constitutional law.” The case exemplifies how very crucial it is for advocates to understand the legal intricacies of these kinds of cases and how difficult it can be to gather all of the information that is necessary.

Keywords: Parental termination

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