Case Summary:

The Court has been asked to decide whether this Guardianship should be vacated and custody returned to the mother. In considering this decision, the Court recognizes that both parental fitness and the child’s best interest are always considerable in any case dealing with the fundamental right of a parent to raise their child in their custody and as they see fit. The Court finds that Attorney Franklin’s client, the mother, is fit and that it is in the child’s best interest for her to return to the mother’s custody in a phased-in transition schedule as delineated herein.

The Guardian ad Litem in this case conducted a detailed examination of the families involved in the child’s life. On June 21, 2017, over nine (9) months ago, she opined, “In the final analysis, mother is the child’s mother and it is the opinion of this GAL that however traumatized the child may have been by the ‘bad night’, the trauma is no longer so great as to warrant continued separation of mother and child.” (GAL report, p. 23). Further, “Thus, the longer she is kept from being reunited with her mother, the more difficult reunification will be and this would be unfair to both.” (GAL report, p. 23).

The Court decides with this Judgment that it is time for the Guardianship to end. This decision is not without recognition that the process will not be easy and will require the efforts and encouragement of all adults involved with the child no matter their role in her life. The child’s ease of transition will be a direct reflection on the willingness of these adults to recognize that there never will be a perfect time but that this Court agrees with the Guardian ad Litem that the longer the wait, the more of a disservice it will be for this young child. [read entire Judgment]

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