Law School Case Brief
In re Kersey - No. 344827, 2019 Mich. App. LEXIS 3207 (Ct. App. June 20, 2019)
In order to terminate parental rights, the trial court must find by clear and convincing evidence that at least one of the statutory grounds for termination in MCL 712A.19b(3) has been met. If the court finds that there are grounds for termination of parental rights and that termination of parental rights is in the child's best interests, the court shall order termination of parental rights and order that additional efforts for reunification of the child with the parent not be made. MCL 712A.19b(5).
A mother was undergoing mental health disability as well as substance abuse and anger management problems. As a result, the trial court terminated her parental rights to the minor child. The mother appealed, arguing that the trial court erred when it found that the statutory grounds for termination were established by clear and convincing evidence.
Did the court properly terminate the mother's parental authority?
The court affirmed the decision of the trial court. It held that given the length of time the child had already been in care and respondent's lack of substantial progress with her mental health and anger barriers, the trial court did not clearly err by finding that the child's best interests would be served if respondent's parental rights were terminated. The trial court found that the most significant factor in its analysis of the child's best interests was the child's need for permanency, and the fact that the child was doing well in his current foster home.
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