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Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments in grandparents' visitation case

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
Michigan Supreme Court (file photo)

The Michigan Supreme Court will consider a case tomorrow involving a grandparent’s right to have visitation with a grandchild.

In the case, the parents of a man whose parental rights to his two children were terminated sued for visitation. The man’s parental rights were terminated following allegations of physical abuse. He has since died.

Attorney Philip Ellison represents the grandparents. He says a lower court judge expressed hope a higher court would reverse his ruling against the grandparents, whom he called “fine people”.

“Unfortunately the question that’s before the court is not 'who do we like?' or “who do we think would be good grandparents?' It’s simply one of law,” says Ellison.

“Who has the legal right to come in and ask for this on behalf of a grandparent. And that’s the case that’s before the (Michigan) Supreme Court right now.”

Lower courts have ruled the grandparents lack the legal standing to request visitation.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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