ILNews

COA: Only deceased's parent can have visitation

Back to TopE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A paternal grandmother whose son was convicted of manslaughter in the death of his child's mother doesn't have standing to petition for visitation with her grandchild under the Grandparent Visitation Act, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.

B.M., paternal grandmother to C.R.P., appealed the dismissal of her petition in In Re: The visitation of C.R.P.; B.M. v. J.J.P.,  No. 29A04-0812-JV-758. B.M.'s son, J.J.P., pleaded guilty to manslaughter of his child's mother and voluntarily terminated his parental rights to C.R.P. The child was adopted by a maternal aunt and uncle.

B.M. argued on appeal the trial court misinterpreted the GVA when it concluded the grandparent seeking visitation rights must be the parent of the child's deceased parent. But the Court of Appeals agreed B.M. didn't have standing to petition for visitation. When reading Indiana Code Section 37-17-5-1 and Section 31-9-2-77, which defines a maternal or paternal grandparent, together, the statute provides that a parent of the child's parent may seek visitation rights if the child's parent is deceased. The GVA only confers standing upon grandparents who are the parents of the deceased parent of the child, wrote Judge James Kirsch. As a result, B.M. doesn't have standing and the trial court didn't err in dismissing her petition.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

ADVERTISEMENT