Friday, August 25, 2006

Case Law Development: Pennsylvania's Grandparent Visitation Statute Upheld

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has issued a thorough analysis of the constitutionality of its grandparent visitation statute, upholding the statute.  The opinion proivdes a catalogue of the state court opinions regarding whether a finding of harm to the child is necessary before grandparents can be given visitation, concluding that it would join those states that do not require such a finding.  A concurring opinion suggests that the time has come to analyze these cases from a child's rights perspective, providing a description of the historical development of children's rights and how that analysis should be applied in these cases.  One justice dissenting, arguing that a showing of harm to the child should be required.

All in all, a fabulous case for summarizing the current state of the law of grandparent visitation and the underlying policies driving the different approaches.

Hiller v. Fausey, 2006 Pa. LEXIS 1543 (August 22, 2006)
majority opinion
Justice Newman's concurring opinion
Justice Cappy's dissent  (last visited August 25, 2006 bgf)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2006/08/case_law_develo_21.html

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