In the Interest of M.F.Annotate this Case
In January 2012, a juvenile court put M.F. under a permanent guardianship, finding that the young girl was deprived as a result of problems that both of her parents had with substance abuse. Approximately two years later, her father filed a petition alleging that he resolved his problems with substance abuse, that he was a fit parent, and that he ought to have custody of his daughter. Although the petition was denominated a “complaint for custody,” the court construed it as a petition to modify, vacate, or revoke the guardianship pursuant to OCGA 15-11-244. As such, the Gwinnett County court concluded that the Juvenile Court of Douglas County properly had jurisdiction of the petition, and it transferred the petition to Douglas County. There, the guardians filed a motion to dismiss the petition, contending that it failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted because, they argued, a change in the circumstances of a parent is no basis for a modification, vacatur, or revocation of a permanent guardianship. Finding that the juvenile court erred in dismissing the petition for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, the Supreme Court reversed as to this issue and remanded for further proceedings.