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The trial court properly terminated both respondents-parents' parental rights to the child where the statutory grounds for termination were established by clear and convincing evidence and it was in the child's best interests.

They argued that the DHHS did not prove by clear and convincing evidence that they failed to provide proper care or custody for the child and that there was no reasonable expectation that they would be able to do so within a reasonable time considering his age, § (g), or that there was a reasonable likelihood, based on respondents' conduct or capacity, that he would be harmed if he were placed in their home, § (j). As recognized by the trial court, there could be no doubt that they "made some strides between the adjudication and disposition," and it applauded them for those efforts; "however, substantial problems continued to persist, and when viewed in conjunction with the failures in the previous proceedings," the court could not conclude that the trial court committed clear error in ruling that §§ (g) and (j) were established by clear and convincing evidence. Also, they maintained that the testimony of the foster care workers who spoke solely as to the prior protective proceedings regarding their daughters was irrelevant and "should be discarded." The court disagreed. The case was "driven, to a significant degree, by the earlier proceedings, which indisputably showed that respondents' compliance with and benefit from proffered services were minimal at best. In general, a parent's failure to comply with services constitutes evidence of an inability to provide proper care or custody for a child." Their conduct could "not be viewed in a vacuum, and the history of neglect and failed beneficial participation in prior services were relevant in evaluating" their capacity to avoid harming the "child through neglect and their ability to provide proper care or custody within a reasonable time frame." The court took note of the doctrine of anticipatory neglect, which provides that "the manner in which a parent treats one child is probative of how that parent may treat other children." Evidence as to the "earlier proceedings and respondents' shortcomings was relevant" to properly assessing §§ (g) and (j), "and its probative value was not substantially outweighed by the danger of any unfair prejudice, MRE 403." 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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