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FAMILY LAW: Appointed counsel and notice requirements for parental termination hearings.

A parent facing termination of his/her parental rights is entitled to appointed counsel if he/she cannot afford to retain a lawyer. If appointed counsel seeks to withdraw from representation, a parent must be notified of this request. A parent is also entitled to written notice of a hearing to determine whether his parental rights will be terminated.

In this case, respondent’s counsel failed to notify respondent of his intent to withdraw from representation, and the court failed to notify respondent of the date of the termination trial.

Several statues and court rules establish the notice required for termination hearings. The statue provides in relevant part: Not less than 14 days before a hearing to determine if the parental rights to a child should be terminated, written notice of the hearing shall be served upon all of the child’s parents. Most critically, a respondent must be served with a summons at least 14 days before a termination hearing.

The trial court apparently determined that because respondent was served with notice of the initial trial date (September 25) and could have presented himself for trial on that day, he was constructively served for the adjourned date (October 16). The appeals court does not interpret the statute to permit constructive notice, however. In their view, the statute and the court rule mandate that a respondent be provided with actual notice of a termination trial date. Service may occur at a hearing rather than by summons, but the record reveals that respondent was never served in any manner with notice of the October 16 trial date. This defect in the proceedings, standing alone, required them to vacate the termination order and remand for a new trial.

We understand how important your relationship with your children is, which is why we will work hard to protect your rights and help you achieve a positive outcome.

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5 Common Misdemeanors Affecting People in Michigan

Originally posted on 11/08/2019 There are many different levels of crime and the consequences once someone has been charged with them. One bracket of crimes is known as a misdemeanor. Let’s go over this level of crime and some common...

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...

Michigan Expungement Law Updates For 2021

There has been a new laws regarding expungements for the state of Michigan.  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that expands the criteria for expungements related to traffic offenses, marijuana convictions, and minor...

Wills and Trusts

Originally posted on: 02/14/2014 Aldrich Legal Service provides legal advice and representation for residents in Plymouth, Ann Arbor, and Southeast Michigan. We also review recent legal cases to examine what took place and what we can...

REAL ESTATE 68: Holding that plaintiffs-buyers’ allegations of fraud in this case arising from the sale of a residence did not preclude the trial court from granting defendants’ motion for summary disposition based on a release, the court affirmed.

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...

REAL ESTATE 65: Determining that it could not conclude the trial court erred in its factual findings, and that it did not err in reforming a 2005 deed, the court affirmed the ruling that defendants were fee simple owners of the disputed 50-foot area

This case arose from a real-property dispute between brothers, as well as their respective wives. After a bench trial, the trial court rendered its findings of fact. The trial court determined that plaintiffs did not prove that excluding the...

FAMILY LAW 58: The trial court did not err by denying defendant-father’s motion to change custody and modify his parenting time of the parties’ child without having an evidentiary hearing to determine if there was proper cause or a change in circums

This case arose from a custody and parenting-time dispute between plaintiff-mother and father over their minor child. After father failed to respond to the paternity complaint within the 21 days of receipt of the complaint, mother filed an affidavit...

DIVORCE 53: Although the court affirmed the trial court’s decisions to deny defendant’s motions to set aside the default and the default JOD, it vacated the portions of the default JOD as to the distribution of marital property, custody, parenting t

Plaintiff filed for divorce. Defendant filed an answer and a counterclaim for divorce.  Plaintiff and defendant were both ordered to appear at the settlement conference. After defendant failed to appear, the trial court entered a default. Soon...

FAMILY LAW 53: The trial court erred by treating the parties’ GAL as an LGAL and denying the parties the right to question her at a hearing; however, the trial court did not err in requiring the parties to compensate the GAL for her services.

Plaintiff and Defendant were never married, but share a young son who was born in 2016. The parties have battled over custody, child support, and other parenting issues ever since. In the spring of 2019, the parties filed competing motions to modify...

The Difference Between Theft, Robbery, and Burglary

Original Post: 1/11/2019 Often, burglary, robbery, and theft are used interchangeably even though there are distinct differences between all of them. Though, what all three do have in common is they may involve the unlawful taking of...

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