Sunday, December 8, 2013

Groves v. Clark case brief

Groves v. Clark case brief summary
982 P.2d 446 (1999)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant adoptive parents sought review of the judgment of the District Court of the Eighth Judicial District, In and for the County of Cascade (Montana), after it allowed respondent birth mother to have monthly weekend visitation and weekly telephone contact with the child. Appellants also sought review of the court's denial of their motion for a new trial.

CASE FACTS
The lower court allowed respondent birth mother monthly weekend visitation and weekly telephone contact with her child, and appellant adoptive parents sought review of the lower court's judgment.

DISCUSSION

  • The judgment of the lower court was affirmed. 
  • The court held that post-adoption visitation with respondent was in the best interest of the child and that the finding was supported by substantial evidence. 
  • Modification of the parties' original visitation agreement was within the discretion of the court in accordance with determining the best interests of the child. 
  • The court rejected appellants' argument that the adoptive parents have sole discretion in deciding whether a post-adoption visitation agreement should be enforced. 
  • The lower court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to grant a new trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence. 
  • The court adequately considered and evaluated the evidence produced at trial in applying the "best interests" standard. 
  • Evidence of the alleged bruising found on the child's body was not presented at trial. 
  • The lower court could not consider evidence that was not presented at trial and that was not subject to cross-examination.

CONCLUSION
The judgment of the lower court was affirmed. The court held that the lower court did not abuse its discretion in modifying the parties' post-adoption visitation agreement. Visitation with respondent birth mother was in the best interest of the child. The lower court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to grant a new trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence.


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