Rath, Young and Pignatelli wins NH Supreme Court Appeal Establishing Guardianship as an Available
Protection Against DCYF

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In re Guardianship of B.C., a case argued by litigator Craig McMahon, Rath, Young, and Pignatelli obtained a decisive victory from the New Hampshire Supreme Court on behalf of our client seeking legal guardianship over her relative, a minor child. Initially, the Circuit Court, Family Division accepted the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families’ argument that once DCYF had a legal relationship with a child, no other family member could seek a protective guardianship of the child. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court rejected DCYF’s argument and adopted the argument advanced by litigators Craig McMahon and Michael S. Lewis. This victory establishes that loving, attentive family members are not prohibited by law from seeking a protective guardianship over a minor child, even if DCYF is already involved. In addition to securing guardianship for our client, this result encourages family members to step up and take on legal responsibilities for children in a way that helps keep children in a family environment and out of an overstressed foster care system.