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The court held that the trial court properly terminated the respondents-parents' 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 their rights based on their abuse of the child's sibling and/or failure to protect her from the other parent's abuse. On appeal, the court rejected respondent-mother's argument that termination was inappropriate because she was not provided with reunification services, noting because the goal was termination and not reunification, such services were not required. It also rejected her claim that the trial court should have implemented a guardianship instead of terminating her parental rights because it would have given her time to comply with a treatment plan, finding there were "no circumstances under which another child would be placed in" her care. The court next rejected her contention that the DHHS violated her due process rights by taking action that "virtually assured the creation of a ground for termination," noting it was clear that she "created the situation that led to DHHS's involvement." It further found that there were statutory grounds to support termination as the evidence established "a reasonable likelihood that [the child] would suffer injury or abuse in the foreseeable future if placed in" her care. Lastly, it held that termination was in the child's best interests, noting the "multiple serious injuries suffered by" the child's sister while in her care, and "the infant's ultimate death." As to respondent-father, the court found that although he had not established legal paternity of the child's sibling, his parental rights to the child could still be terminated under the statute. In addition, it found that the injuries to the sibling were "brutal" and she was "ultimately smothered to death." Despite this, he continued his relationship with the mother and tried to protect himself from any responsibility. The record showed a reasonable likelihood that the child would suffer injury or abuse in the foreseeable future if placed in his care. Lastly, the court found that termination of his rights was in the child's best interests, noting again the severe abuse of the child's sibling, the death of the sibling, and the failure to accept any responsibility. 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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