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Holding that the respondent-mother failed to establish that she was entitled to appellate relief, the court affirmed termination of her parental rights to the children.

Respondent contended that the trial court erred by receiving the expert testimony of Dr. C, because the DHHS failed to specifically designate her as an expert on its witness list. She also asserted that C's testimony did not satisfy the requirements of MRE 702, and that C was improperly allowed to offer an opinion on an ultimate issue here. Respondent did not satisfy the plain error standard because she has "not shown that any of the alleged errors affected the outcome of the proceedings." Contrary to her contention, the record offered no indication that the trial court relied heavily on the testimony provided by C. Most of C's "testimony pertained to the medical condition of one of respondent's children shortly after removal, and thus bore little relation to the grounds for termination under" §§ (c)(i) or (g). Although C's opinion that the "children would be at risk if returned to respondent directly implicated" § (j), the record did "not suggest that the court relied more than incidentally on" C's opinion when reaching its conclusion on that factor. The only time the trial court specifically mentioned C's testimony was when summarizing all the testimony presented in the case. It never cited C's testimony "when articulating its findings under any of the statutory termination factors." In fact, C "never testified in connection with the most important reasons behind the decision to terminate parental rights, which included housing, income, domestic violence, and lack of benefit from services." Further, the only time the trial court referred to C's "testimony while discoursing upon the children's best interests was a brief reference to their health abnormalities when removed from respondent's care." In sum, the record indicated that the trial court did not rely more than marginally on C's testimony in deciding the case. Thus, respondent "failed to show that she suffered sufficient prejudice to justify reversal in connection with any of her claims of error relating" to C's participation in the proceedings. 

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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