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FAMILY LAW 9: Loss of parental rights in this case was respondent’s mental illness.

In March of 2015, respondent was admitted to a psychiatric hospital unit as a result of her paranoid and manic behavior. AL was later removed from respondent’s care and placed with her maternal grandparents. Despite opportunities for services and mental health treatment, respondent continued to struggle with serious mental illnesses that prevented her from providing proper care for AL. Following a bench trial in December of 2016, the trial court terminated respondent’s parental rights to AL.

On appeal, respondent first argues that petitioner did not create an effective treatment plan to accommodate her post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis. Specifically, respondent contends that she was misdiagnosed with, and improperly treated for, bipolar disorder, paranoia, psychosis, and schizophrenia. According to respondent, her correct diagnosis is PTSD.

In this case, there is no doubt that respondent suffers from mental illness. The case began in March of 2015, when Child Protective Services (CPS) filed a petition alleging that respondent was exhibiting significant mental health concerns, including paranoia. Respondent has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder with maniac and severe psychosis, PTSD, paranoia, and schizophrenia.

The DHHS offered respondent numerous services aimed at addressing her mental illnesses. In particular, the case service plan required respondent to attend counseling and psychiatric appointments on a regular basis, take all prescribed medication as directed, follow recommendations of the professionals. While this case was pending, she was hospitalized on several occasions, she was prescribed medications, and she received mental health treatment from numerous mental health professionals.

Respondent does not dispute that, in general, she received opportunities for services and mental health treatment. Instead, she claims that her only correct diagnosis is PTSD, meaning that mental health treatments focused on a variety of mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder, were improper and that the DHHS’s approach to services was inadequate because it was not tailored to her PTSD diagnosis.

Regarding the adequacy of the treatment respondent received for her PTSD, we note that, in terms of the treatment for PTSD, the treatment for bipolar disorder and PTSD would actually be very similar.

While respondent attempts to fault the DHHS for not addressing her specific needs in light of her PTSD diagnosis, the record shows that this is a case where respondent refused to cooperate with, and benefit from, the services offered to her.

For purposes of MCL 712A.19b(3)(c)(i ), the condition leading to adjudication in this case was respondent’s mental illness, specifically her paranoid and manic behavior, which prevented her from providing proper care for AL, and, given her noncompliance with her service plan and her lack of progress in addressing her serious mental illnesses, the evidence supports the conclusion that there is no reasonable expectation that respondent will be able to provide proper care and custody for AL in a reasonable time considering AL’s age.

There is likely nothing scarier than the thought of not being able to see your children. As a client of Aldrich Legal Services, you will benefit from being represented by Brad Aldrich, an experienced litigator with more than 19 years of experience. Brad will use his considerable knowledge and resources to help you pursue a positive resolution that protects you and your children's interests.

We understand what a stressful time this is for you when your custody rights are on the line. Contact Aldrich Legal Services to schedule a free consultation with one of our family law attorneys. We will help you protect your custody and visitation rights.

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PROBATE 42: Dissolution of professional corporation.

This case involves the estate of a doctor whose professional corporation also had to be dissolved upon his death. The personal representative of the estate sold the company’s assets but did not pay off the company’s debts before transferring the proceeds to the estate and distributing them to the heirs.

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The parties have two children in common, and both children are now adults. The parties were never married, but plaintiff was granted custody and defendant was ordered to pay child support. After the youngest child turned eighteen, defendant sought a...

FAMILY LAW 65: The court held that because the ECE was not altered by the change of school districts, the referee properly applied the preponderance of the evidence standard when reviewing the best interest and parenting time factors.

BASIC FACTS The parties divorced in 2018. Their judgment of divorce provided that plaintiff would have primary physical custody and that the parties would have joint legal custody of the two minor children. The judgment of divorce stated that the...

FAMILY LAW 64: The court reversed the trial court’s order granting joint physical and legal custody of the parties’ children to defendant-father, concluding that the trial court improperly conflated his motion to change custody with plaintiff-mother

The parties divorced in 2013. The judgment of divorce granted mother sole physical and legal custody and ordered that the child’s domicile would remain in Michigan. In 2015, the trial court granted mother’s motion to change domicile,...

5 Common Misdemeanors Affecting People in Michigan

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PROBATE 44: The court held that the probate court did not err by declaring a will executed by the decedent invalid on the basis that she lacked testamentary capacity to execute it and that it was the product of petitioner’s undue influence.

Defendant and Decedent met in August 2017. In approximately November 2017, Decedent began talking constantly about wanting Defendant to take her to see an attorney for the purpose of changing her will. On March 19, 2018, Defendant filed a petition...

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This cause of action arises from plaintiffs’ purchase of a residence from defendant, who had rights in the house under a land contract from co-defendant, the legal owner of the house. Before the house was for sale, in January 2018, an upstairs...

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