ILNews

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. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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