phone icon email icon
(517) 482-8933

Speaker Law
Blog

COA reverses termination on jurisdictional grounds -- child appropriately placed with grandparents

Posted on Monday, May 14, 2018

In a recent case, In the Matter of Kloosterman, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued March 26, 2013 (Docket No. 312138), the Court of Appeals had the opportunity to examine the meaning of MCL 712A.2(b), the provision which permits a trial court to take jurisdiction over the child in a child welfare proceeding. In the case, Respondent-Father was appealing an order terminating his parental rights to his minor child. The petition had been filed by Respondent-Father’s parents, who were the minor child’s grandparent-guardians. The minor had lived with the grandparents for several years, and after unsuccessful attempts at convincing Respondent-Father to let them adopt the child, they filed the petition under MCL 3.977(2). Interestingly, when the grandparents filed the petition, Respondent-Father was serving a 6-20 year sentence for conducting a criminal enterprise. However, in May 2012, the Court of Appeals reversed that conviction in People v Kloosterman, 296 Mich App 636; 823 NW2d 134 (2012). The Trial Court determined that it has subject matter jurisdiction under MCL 712A.2(b)(1) and (2), and terminated Respondent-Father’s rights to the minor child under MCL 712A.19b(3)(g). On appeal, the Court of Appeals, using the plain meaning doctrine, reversed the Trial Court’s order. The Court noted that the Trial Court had improperly expanded the meaning of MCL 712A.2(b)(1) and (2) in an effort to bring the child with the Trial Court’s jurisdiction. The Court noted that subsection (1) could not apply because “parent or other person legally responsible” clearly would apply to the grandparent-guardians, and not the father, and subsection (2) could not apply, because the plain meaning of that section did not encompass “the broader social environment of the child.” In the Matter of Kloosterman, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued March 26, 2013 (Docket No. 312138). Since the Court reversed based on the jurisdictional issue, it never reached the statutory ground(s) or best interest determination. In light of the Respondent-Father’s conviction being overturned, it will be particularly interesting to see how these analyses might change should another petition be filed, and whether or not proper jurisdiction can be found in the first place.

Do you have an appeal?
Let's find out!

Recent
Posts

Trial Court Made Clear Legal Errors: Custody Decision Reversed & Remanded
Nov 13, 2019
Child custody cases regularly require the filing of an emergency mo...
Trial Court Misapplied Burden Of Proof, Custody Change Order Reversed
Nov 6, 2019
In Palmer, the plaintiff and the defendant were never married and h...
COA: Parenting Time, Right Of First Refusal Were Not Modifiable
Oct 30, 2019
In 2015, the parties entered into a consent judgment of divorce. Th...
Custody & Parenting Time Were Properly Modified, Any Error Was Harmless
Oct 23, 2019
The parties were divorced and had two children, AAM and MCM, during...

Tags

 

Subscribe to our blog

* indicates required