Morris v. Clark (Majority)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court vacated the opinion of the court of appeals affirming the circuit court's order denying Appellant's motion to terminate a guardianship held by Appellant's niece over Appellant's minor child and reversed the circuit court's order, holding that because the circuit court's order stated that it did not find Appellant unfit, the court erred in declining to terminate the guardianship by engaging in a best interest analysis.
The circuit court's order denying Appellant's petition indicated that the court followed the burden shifting / best interest analysis that the Supreme Court disposed of in Matter of Guardianship of W.L., 467 S.W.3d 129 (Ark. 2015), Further, the circuit court's order did not make any finding that Appellant was unfit at the time of the termination hearing. The Supreme Court held that where an otherwise fit natural parent petitions for termination of an existing guardianship over her minor child, the circuit court should only decline to terminate the guardianship if the guardian establishes that the parent is presently unfit.