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The court held that the trial court properly terminated the respondent-adoptive grandmother's parental rights to the child where at least one statutory ground for termination existed and it was in the child's best interests.

The trial court terminated respondent's parental rights on the basis that she exposed the child to harm, including allowing improper contact with adult guests, including the child's biological mother, who had previously violently abused the child, and allowed a parolee into her home, which led to the sexual assault of her cognitively impaired adult child. On appeal, the court rejected her argument that termination was unwarranted because there was no evidence she continued to expose the child to the biological mother or had inappropriate people at her house, and because she complied with her treatment plan and had appropriate interactions with the child during visits. It noted the caseworkers were concerned about her poor judgment, felt there was a substantial risk of harm if the child were returned to her care, believed she had not benefited from services, and felt she failed to take responsibility for her actions. They were also concerned about her extensive mental health needs and her ability to care for the child, who had special needs. The court also rejected her claim that termination was not justified because the DHHS failed to make reasonable reunification efforts. It noted that "diligent efforts were made to locate a special needs parenting class," and that she had not benefited from the offered services to the point where returning the child was safe. In addition, the "pending investigation into sexual abuse allegations," removal of "another cognitively impaired adult child," and her "mental state were all legitimate reasons for temporarily suspending respondent's visitation and in no way show a failure to make reasonable reunification efforts." Further, the "DHHS's failure to make more extensive contact with respondent's mental health provider does not indicate that its reunification efforts were insufficient." Finally, the court rejected her contention that termination was not in the child's best interests, noting the decision was "fully supported" by a preponderance of evidence, there was a "substantial risk of harm if the child was returned to" her care, and the child was doing well in foster care. Affirmed. 

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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