Articles 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 two children pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a), (1)(B)(2)(b)(i)-(ii), (iv). The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) there was competent evidence to support the district court’s findings that Mother failed to take responsibility for her children and was unwilling and unable to protect the children from jeopardy, and that both of these circumstances were unlikely to change within a time reasonably calculated to meet the children’s needs; and (2) the district court acted within its discretion when it declined to continue the termination hearing for testimony that was cumulative and not likely to affect the judgment. View "In re Alexavier G." 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 two children pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i), (b)(ii). Mother appealed, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the district court’s finding of parental unfitness and the determination that termination was in the best interest of the children. The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) the evidence was sufficient to support the district court’s findings of parental unfitness; and (2) the district court did not clearly err or abuse its discretion in its finding and conclusion that termination of Mother’s parental rights, with a permanency plan of adoption, was in the best interests of the children. View "In re Zianna G." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Parents’ parental rights to their child. The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) the Department of Health and Human Services satisfied its obligation to provide necessary services to Mother; (2) the district court did not err in finding that Mother was unable to protect the child from jeopardy or take responsibility for him within a time that was reasonably calculated to meet his needs; and (3) the district court did not err in determining that the termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Dominyk T." 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 five children pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii). The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) district court’s findings of fact were supported by competent evidence in the record; (2) the district court did not err in its finding of parental unfitness and did not err in determining that termination of Mother’s parental rights, with a permanency plan of adoption, was in the children’s best interests; and (3) contrary to Mother’s arguments, the Department of Health and Human Services complied with Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4041 by providing Mother with home community treatment services. View "In re Aiden J." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the probate court terminating Father’s parental rights to his two daughters in anticipation of an adoption. The Supreme Judicial Court held that the probate court’s finding of parental unfitness and its determination of the children’s best interests were not supported by clear and convincing evidence in the record. Specifically, the court held (1) the record did not include sufficient evidence regarding parental unfitness, the best interests of the children, and the history of the prospective adopting parent; (2) the court improperly excluded Father’s testimony regarding his future plans for reunification with his children; and (3) the court abused its discretion in concluding that termination of Father’s parental rights was in the children’s best interests. View "In re Adoption of Isabelle T." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court modifying a divorce judgment to confer sole parental rights and responsibilities on Mother and impose conditions on Father’s contact with the parties’ four children. The court held (1) the district court did not misinterpret or misapply Me. Rev. Stat. 19-A, 1653(3) in prioritizing the children’s safety and well-being when determining the children’s best interests; and (2) the district court acted within its discretion in ordering Father to undergo sobriety testing before and during all visits with the children and to have a psychological evaluation and begin any recommended treatment before the children resume overnight visits in his home. View "Miller v. Nery" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court, holding that the court did not err or abuse its discretion in determining that termination of Parents’ parental rights to their child pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i), (ii), (iv), with a permanency plan of adoption, was in the child’s best interest. The court held that, given the court’s findings of fact that were supported by competent evidence in the record, the court adequately explained how the deficits of the parents rendered each parent unwilling or unable to protect the child from jeopardy or take responsibility for the child in time to meet his needs and adequately explained how Mother failed to make a good faith effort to rehabilitate and reunify with the child. View "In re Ryan G." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating her parental rights to her daughter pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a). Given the district court’s findings and the court’s other extensive, specific findings of fact, all of which were supported by competent evidence in the record, the Supreme Court held that the district court did not err in its determination of unfitness, nor did it err or abuse its discretion in determining that termination of Mother’s parental rights, with a permanency plan of adoption, was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Anastasia M." on Justia Law

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 22 Me. Rev. Stat. 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii), (iv). On appeal, Father argued that his counsel provided ineffective assistance and challenged the district court’s determination that termination was in the best interest of the child. The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) Father failed to present a prima facie case of attorney ineffectiveness; and (2) the evidence in the record supported the district court’s findings and discretionary determination that termination of Father's parental rights was in the best interest of the child. View "In re Tyrel L." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Father’s and Mother’s parental rights to their son pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a), (B)(2)(b)(i)-(ii), (iv). The district court found that the parents failed to take responsibility for their son, they were unwilling or unable to protect him from jeopardy within a time reasonably calculated to meet his needs, they failed to make a good faith effort toward reunification, and termination of the parents’ parental rights was in the child’s best interest. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that there was competent evidence in the record for all of the district court’s findings and that the court did not err or abuse its discretion in determining that termination of Mother’s and Father’s parental rights, with a permanency plan of adoption, was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Richard M." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law