Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Troxel v. Granville case brief

Troxel v. Granville

Two people had children, they were not married, kids lived with mother, and
father lived with his parents. Children would visit their father and grandparents. Father committed
suicide. Mother decided to limit visitation with paternal grandparents. Grandparents applied
for visitation rights.

Do the grandparents have a right to get a court order to be allowed to see
grandchildren? Not automatically.

• Rule:
o If the grandparents want to have visitation, they would have to show that she is an
unfit parent.

o The Due Process Clause does not permit a State in infringe on the fundamental right
of parents to make child rearing decisions simply because a state judge believes a
better decision could be made.
o The relationship between parent and child is constitutionally protected

• Analysis
o The liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution
includes the right of parents to establish a home and bring up children and to control
the education of their own

o It is cardinal with the court that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside
first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for
obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder.

o So long as a parent adequately cares for his or her children (i.e., is fit), there will
normally be no reason for the State to inject itself into the private realm of the
family to further question the ability of that parent to make the best decisions
concerning the rearing of that parent's children.

o If a fit parent's decision regarding grandparental visitation becomes subject to
judicial review, the court must accord at least some special weight to the parent's
own determination.

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