IN RE WASILENKO MINORSAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of ANGELIA ILONA WASILENKO
and HARMONY JANE WASILENKO, Minors.
FAMILY INDEPENDENCE AGENCY,
July 21, 1998
Wayne Juvenile Court
LC No. 89-279243
LAURA ILONA WASILENKO,
SAMUEL NICHOLAS WASILENKO,
Before: Murphy, P.J., and Young, Jr. and Michael R. Smith*, JJ.
Respondent-appellant Laura Wasilenko (“respondent”) appeals as of right from an order
terminating her parental rights to her two daughters pursuant to MCL 712A.19b(3)(c)(i), (g), (i) and (j);
MSA 27.3178(598.19b)(3)(c)(i), (g), (i) and (j). We affirm.
Respondent argues that she was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel at the permanent
custody trial because her attorney did not move for an adjournment after she failed to appear. We
* Circuit judge, sitting on the Court of Appeals by assignment.
Because respondent did not request a hearing on this issue in the trial court, our review is limited
to errors apparent on the record. People v Armendarez, 188 Mich App 61, 74; 468 NW2d 893
In order to succeed on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, respondent must show that
counsel’s performance was below an objective standard of reasonableness under prevailing professional
norms. People v Stanaway, 446 Mich 643, 687; 521 NW2d 557 (1994). Here, the trial court stated
that it was persuaded that there had been “appropriate efforts to notify the parents of these
proceedings.” It is not apparent from the record that an adjournment would have been granted had it
been requested. Counsel is not obligated to pursue a matter that would be futile. People v Daniel,
207 Mich App 47, 59; 523 NW2d 830 (1994).
Furthermore, respondent has not shown that she was prejudiced by her absence at trial.
Counsel’s alleged deficient performance must be found to have been prejudicial in order to establish
ineffective assistance of counsel. People v Mitchell, 454 Mich 145, 165; 560 NW2d 600 (1997).
Because respondent never requested an evidentiary hearing, it is not known what evidence or assistance
she could have provided had she appeared. The present record offers no reason to believe that the
outcome of the proceeding would have been any different had respondent attended.
/s/ William B. Murphy
/s/ Robert P. Young, Jr.
/s/ Michael R. Smith