In a proceeding involving the transfer of guardianship, the Court (Mack, JTR) denied a mother’s motion to transfer guardianship to the children’s maternal grandmother. DCF initially became involved in the matter when it filed a Motion for Order of Temporary Custody approximately two months after the first child was born. It then sought a second Order shortly after the second child was born. The Court granted the motions, both of which were based upon allegations that the children were the subject of neglect, and the children were eventually committed to the custody and care of the Department.
The Court’s Findings
In reviewing the mother’s motion, the Court first noted that under the circumstances, she had to prove that the maternal grandmother was suitable and worthy, and that the proposed transfer to the maternal grandmother would be in the children’s best interests. In reviewing the facts, however, the Court concluded that the mother failed to meet her burden. First, the Court explained that the grandmother suffered from anxiety, and had a history of addiction stemming from two motor vehicle accidents.
At one point, in furtherance of that addiction, the grandmother called in fake prescriptions, which resulted in criminal charges. Additionally, in 2009, she was arrested for robbery, assault, larceny and disorderly conduct. The Court further noted that the evidence demonstrated an unhealthy relationship between the mother and maternal grandmother, which included frequent fighting that led to relatively serious injuries to both parties. The Court found that the grandmother also enabled the mother’s drug habits, which included the use of heroin.
In light of the evidence presented, the Court ultimately held that the grandmother was not suitable and worthy to become the children’s guardian, and that such transfer of guardianship would not be in the children’s best interests.
Should you have any questions regarding DCF proceedings, or family matters generally, please do not hesitate to contact managing partner Joseph C. Maya at Maya Murphy, P.C. by telephone (203) 221-3100 or by e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.