Miller v. Voisine
A court may grant visitation to very active grandparents, provided that they establish a parent-like relationship exists with grandchildren and that denial of visitation will result in harm to grandchildren. In May 2005, Rose Anna Miller, who previously had worked up to 80 hours per week as a paralegal, resigned and found another job, so that she and her husband could care for their grandchild, Curtis, two days per week. After the respondent mother gave birth to a second child, Miriam, Miller obtained medical authorization for the grandchildren and served as the emergency contact for daycare. The grandparents took the grandchildren to "Mommy and Me" classes, medical appointments and jamboree. The court found that Miller and her husband had a parent-like relationship, similar to a parent-child relationship, with the grandchildren. In July 2011, the respondent father allegedly said he was going to use his wife to mop the floor, picked up a loaded gun and said that he would kill anyone in his way. Police arrested the parents. The oldest child allegedly cried hysterically. The mother obtained a restraining order against the father. Her relationship with the grandparents deteriorated, and she did not permit them to visit after September 2011. The grandparents filed a petition to visit and claimed that they enjoyed a parent-like relationship with the grandchildren. The parents objected that visitation would harm the minor children. A court-appointed evaluator observed that a strong bond existed between the grandparents and Curtis and Miriam. The grandparents proved that they served a pivotal role in the upbringing and that they bonded with Curtis and Miriam. The parents permitted the grandparents to care extensively for the grandchildren as recently as July and August 2011, and the court rejected the parents' claims that the grandparents are unable to care safely for the grandchildren. Denial of visitation will cause real and substantial harm to Curtis and Miriam. The court granted the grandparents' request for visitation with Curtis and Miriam on alternate Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The parents and grandparents may not criticize each other in the presence of the minor children.