IN RE SANDERS MINORSAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of TIMOTHY AARON SANDERS and
TIMEISHA SANDERS, Minors.
FAMILY INDEPENDENCE AGENCY,
May 29, 1998
Nos. 200797 & 204671
Muskegon Juvenile Court
LC No. 93-018964 NA
LENYORSITA SANDERS and TIMOTHY
Before: Hood, P.J., and Markman and Talbot, JJ.
In these consolidated appeals, respondents appeal as of right the orders of the juvenile court
terminating their parental rights to the minor children. In Docket No. 200797, respondent Lenyorsita
Sanders’ parental rights were terminated pursuant to MCL 712A.19b(3)(h); MSA
27.3178(598.19b)(3)(h). In Docket No. 204671, respondent Timothy Sanders’ parental rights were
terminated pursuant to MCL 712A.19b(3)(g); MSA 27.3178(598.19b)(3)(g). We affirm.
In an appeal from an order terminating parental rights, this Court reviews the lower court’s
factual findings for clear error. MCR 5.974(I); In re Miller, 433 Mich 331,337; 445 NW2d 161
(1989). A finding is clearly erroneous if, although there is evidence to support the finding, the Court is
left with a definite and firm conviction that a mistake was made. MCR 5.974(I); Miller, supra at 337.
Once the probate court finds at least one statutory ground for termination by clear and convincing
evidence, the court must order termination of parental rights, unless the court finds that termination is
clearly not in the child’s best interests. MCL 712A.19b(5); MSA 27.3178(598.19B)(5); In re HallSmith, 222 Mich App 470, 472-473; 564 NW2d 156 (1997). The burden of coming forward with
evidence that termination is clearly not in the child’s best interest is on the respondent. Hall-Smith,
supra at 473.
On appeal, each respondent argues that the evidence presented below did not support the
juvenile court’s decision to terminate their parental rights. We disagree. In this case, the respondent
mother, on June 4, 1996, entered a plea of no contest to a first-degree child abuse, MCL 750.136;
MSA 28.331, for causing injuries resulting in the death of her oldest daughter, Timerria. Timerria’s
injuries included “Shaken Baby Syndrome” and eight fractured bones. On July 3, 1996, the
respondent-mother was sentenced to four and one half to fifteen years’ imprisonment for the first
degree child abuse conviction. After reviewing the records, we conclude that the juvenile court did not
clearly err in finding that the statutory grounds for termination were established by clear and convincing
evidence as to each respondent. We further conclude that the juvenile court did not clearly err in finding
that it was in the best interests of the children for the parental rights of each respondent to be terminated.
Therefore, we hold that the juvenile court did not err in terminating respondents’ parental rights.
/s/ Harold Hood
/s/ Stephen J. Markman
/s/ Michael J. Talbot