Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New Third Party Custody/Guardianship case, briefly

Very briefly, actually.

I need to leave soon for my seminar in Indianapolis, but I could not resist reading the Indiana Law Blog while trying to clear the sleep from my eyes. If you are an Indiana attorney, then you must have this blog in your bookmarks/favorites. Ms. Oddi provides publicity for a new opinions from the Court of Appeals and the Indiana Supreme Court.

The Court of Appeals issued an opinion yesterday clarifying the burden of proof when a natural parent petitions for termination of a guardianship over their children. The case is In Re the Guardianship of J.K.. The Court if Appeals puts the burden on the guardian to show why the guardianship ought not be terminated. Hurrah!

I had one of these cases three years ago and I have one now. Both out of the same court. I have thought that the same burden of proof ought to exist for guardianships as for any other third party case. J.K. does what appears a good examination of those third-party cases and guardianships where the parent seeks its termination. The first case settled with the children returned to mother, but the commissioner held his ground that the burden lay with my client. I have the same commissioner in the current case. He persists that this is a guardianship proceeding, not a custody proceeding, and the burden lies on my client. So, I am in a good mood this morning even if I am still a bit groggy.

By the way, a caveat and promise: I read the case immediately preceding writing this post and I will re-read it later and post any further thoughts that I have on the case.

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