Michigan Supreme Court Upholds Presumption of Parental Fitness

Michigan Supreme Court building

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled on Monday that children cannot be taken from one parent just because the other parent has been determined by a court to be unfit.

In the case the Court decided, the mother was determined to be unfit, but the father’s fitness was never properly adjudicated (in spite of his repeated requests), yet the children were taken from both of them. This father may still ultimately lose his case and be determined to be unfit, but he has a right to have his day in court.

This is a win for the principle that parents should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

Another positive of this decision is that the Court affirmed that “a parent’s right to control the care, custody, and control of his or her children” is a “fundamental right.”

 


News Story: https://www.freep.com/article/20140603/NEWS06/306030192/michigan-unfit-parent

Court’s Opinion (PDF): https://courts.mi.gov/Courts/MichiganSupremeCourt/Clerks/ Recent%20Opinions/13-14-Term-Opinions/146680-Opinion.pdf

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