Tourison v. PepperAnnotate this Case
In this appeal, the issue before the Supreme Court was the proper standard to apply when a fit parent petitions to rescind a guardianship. "Parental rights are fundamental liberties, protected by the State and Federal Constitutions. Fit parents, therefore, are entitled to a presumption that returning their children to their care and custody is in the children’s best interests." The Supreme Court held that the guardianship must be terminated at the request of a fit parent unless the guardian proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that the children will suffer physical or emotional harm if the guardianship is terminated. The Family Court found that Appellant’s child would not be dependent or neglected if returned to her custody. Thus, Appellant was a fit parent. The Family Court also found that the child would be happy living with appellant and that there was no concern about domestic violence. Based on this record, the presumption in favor of Appellant was unrebutted. Thus, as a matter of law Appellant’s petition to rescind the guardianship and her petition for custody of her son was due to be granted.