Articles Posted in Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Father’s parental rights pursuant to Me. Rev. Sat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(b)(i)-(ii). The court held (1) the evidence showed that Father was unable, within a time reasonably calculated to meet his child’s needs, to protect the child from jeopardy or take responsibility for the child; and (2) because the district court’s findings of unfitness were supported by clear and convincing evidence and because permanent placement with the foster family would be in the child’s best interest, there was no error. View "In re Damein F." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating the parental rights of Parents to their child pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii). The court held (1) contrary to Father’s arguments on appeal, the court’s findings were sufficient for the court to have found at least one ground of parental unfitness; and (2) the court did not err or abuse its discretion in determining that termination of Parents’ parental rights, with a permanency plan of adoption, was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Keegan M." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s parental rights to her child pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii). The district court found, by clear and convincing evidence, that Mother was unwilling or unable to protect the child from jeopardy and unwilling or unable to take responsibility for the child within a time reasonably calculated to meet his needs and that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. The Supreme Court held that the court did not err or abuse its discretion in determining that Mother was unfit and that termination of Mother’s parental rights, with a permanency plan of adoption, was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Noah B." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s parental rights to her child pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii). The district court found, by clear and convincing evidence, that Mother was unwilling or unable to protect the child from jeopardy and unwilling or unable to take responsibility for the child within a time reasonably calculated to meet his needs and that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. The Supreme Court held that the court did not err or abuse its discretion in determining that Mother was unfit and that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Marcus E." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s parental rights to her son pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii), (iv). The court held (1) given the trial court’s findings of fact, all of which were supported by competent evidence in the record, the court did not err in its unfitness determination, nor did it err or abuse its discretion in determining that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest; and (2) the Department of Health and Human Services complied with Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4041 by developing an adequate reunification plan and made a good faith effort to cooperate with and seek the participation of Mother throughout these proceedings. View "In re Landon S." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating the parental rights of Mother and Father to their twin sons and the parental rights of Mother to her daughter pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a), (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii), (iv). The Supreme Court held, contrary to the parents’ contentions on appeal, that competent evidence in the record supported the court’s findings that Parents were unwilling or unable to protect the children from jeopardy and otherwise take responsibility for the children within a time reasonably calculated to meet the children’s needs and that Father failed to make a good faith effort to rehabilitate and reunify with the children. Further, the court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the children’s grandmother’s testimony as hearsay. View "In re Hope H." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating the parental rights of Parents to their child pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii), (iv). Specifically, the court held that the findings were sufficient to support the trial court’s determinations that Parents were unable to protect the child from jeopardy or take responsibility for the child within a time reasonably calculated to meet his needs, that they had failed to make a good faith effort to rehabilitate and reunify with the child, and that termination of the Parents’ parental rights was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Braxton M." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting Eric Teele’s motion to modify his child support obligation to his former wife but denying his request to be reimbursed for support he had paid during a period when he was disabled. Teele requested the reimbursement because, as a result of his disability, the parties’ two children received a retroactive lump-sum dependent benefit from the Social Security Administration (SSA) covering the same period when he had made payments. The Supreme Judicial Court held that the district court did not err in its interpretation and application of Me. Rev. Stat. 19-A, 2107 and Me. Rev. Stat. 19-A, 2009(2) in denying Teele’s request for reimbursement of child support during a period during which the children received retroactive dependent benefits from the SSA. View "Teele v. West-Harper" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed Defendant’s appeal from a judgment of the district court adopting the order of a family law magistrate granting Mother’s motion to modify a child support order included in the divorce judgment between Burdin and Anthony Kline. The child support order did not order Kline to pay child support. Burdin later filed a motion to modify the child support provisions of the divorce judgment, seeking an order requiring Kline to pay child support calculated pursuant to the child support guidelines. A magistrate granted Burdin’s motion. Kline appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and remanded the case because there is no right of direct appeal from a magistrate’s order. On remand, the district court treated Kline’s appeal as a Me. R. Civ. P. 118(a) objection to the magistrate’s order and adopted that order as the court’s judgment pursuant to Rule 118(a)(2). Kline appealed from the court’s adoption of the magistrate’s order. The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed the appeal because Kline failed to file a timely objection to the magistrate’s order as required by Rule 118, therefore waiving both his right to contest it in district court and to appeal. View "Kline v. Burdin" on Justia Law

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The district court erred by issuing an order for protection from abuse entered in the district court on a complaint filed by Susan Chretien because the court explicitly did not find that Russell Chretien had abused Susan. The district court found that Russell presented a “credible threat” but concluded that it was not going to find that Susan was, in fact, abused by Russell. The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) Russell’s appeal remained justiciable even though the protective order had expired; and (2) because the court concluded that Susan failed to prove any form of abuse, the court erred in issuing a protective order. View "Chretien v. Chretien" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law