Divided COA reverses grandparent visitation order

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Indiana Court of Appeals judges split on their views of the best interests of a child Tuesday, reversing a trial court order granting visitation to the paternal grandparents of a 4-year-old whose father committed suicide before the child was born.

The panel in April stayed the visitation order and retained jurisdiction while remanding to the trial court to make required findings to support its judgment allowing overnight visitation with the child, C.S.N.

Judges Patricia Riley and Melissa May concluded the trial court had erred by awarding grandparents visitation by making findings that failed to consider the totality of circumstances surrounding mother’s decision to restrict visitation that had been regular during the first few years of the child’s life.

“We are mindful of the deference to be accorded to the trial court regarding the weight of the evidence and assessment of witness credibility. However, by citing Mother’s failure to prove misconduct by Grandparents, the trial court improperly shifted the burden to Mother to establish that she acted in accordance with the Child’s best interests,” Riley wrote for the majority in In re: The Grandparent Visitation of C.S.N.: Brooke Neuhoff v. Scott A. Ubelhor and Angela S. Ubelhor, 19A05-1311-MI-542.

Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik dissented and would affirm the trial court’s grandparent visitation order. She wrote the trial court’s findings found that mother’s justification for denying visitation “did not, in fact, hold water.”

“(D)eferring to the trial court’s superior opportunity to judge the credibility of the witnesses, I would find that the court did not abuse its discretion in granting Grandparents’ petition,” Vaidik wrote.



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  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.