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COA: Only deceased's parent can have visitation

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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.

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  1. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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