IN RE THOMAS MINORSAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of FREDERICK THOMAS and
MARIA THOMAS, Minors.
FAMILY INDEPENDENCE AGENCY,
December 22, 1998
Wayne Juvenile Court
LC No. 97-355436
Before: Markman, P.J., and Bandstra and J.F. Kowalski*, JJ.
Respondent appeals as of right a juvenile court order assuming jurisdiction over the minor
children. We affirm.
Respondent argues that the juvenile court erred in exercising jurisdiction over her minor
children, Frederick and Maria. We disagree. The evidence presented in this case leads to the
conclusion that respondent was present when Frederick’s arm was injured and either inflicted the
injury herself or failed to protect the child from her boyfriend, Ken Davis. First, two physicians
testified that the child’s arm injury was consistent with an intentional injury. Further, in examining the
case history to determine whether it is more likely that the child’s injuries were intentionally inflicted,
we conclude that the referee did not clearly err in finding that the arm injury occurred while Frederick
was in the sole care of respondent and her boyfriend. This finding is supported by grandmother
Merkerson’s testimony that Frederick had no signs of distress when she left respondent’s house
during the evening of May 29 and that she saw no deformities on Frederick’s arm. In addition,
respondent failed to give an explanation for the injury that would infer an accidental injury.
Based on the facts of this case, the juvenile court did not clearly err in finding that respondent
failed to protect the younger child, Frederick, from injury. In re Miller, 433 Mich 331, 337; 445
* Circuit judge, sitting on the Court of Appeals by assignment.
NW2d 161 (1989).1 The court’s exercise of jurisdiction over the minor children pursuant to MCL
712A.2(b)(1) and (2); MSA 27.3178(598.2)(b)(1) and (2) was supported by a preponderance of
the evidence. MCR 5.972(C)(1); In re Brock, 442 Mich 101, 108-109; 499 NW2d 752 (1993).2
/s/ Stephen J. Markman
/s/ Richard A. Bandstra
/s/ John F. Kowalski
If respondent caused the injury, the finding of a statutory basis for jurisdiction would not be clearly
erroneous because the children would be at risk of harm in the home. If respondent failed to protect
Frederick from her boyfriend, the children would still be at risk in the home in light of the evidence of
respondent’s continued relationship with the boyfriend, respondent’s testimony that she did not believe
that it was possible that the boyfriend would hurt her child, and the fact that a reasonable inference
could be made from the evidence, based on respondent’s changes to her story about what occurred,
that respondent was covering up for her boyfriend or herself.
Because jurisdiction was properly exercised over Frederick, it follows that jurisdiction was properly
exercised over Maria pursuant to the rule of anticipatory neglect or abuse. In re Powers, 208 Mich
App 582, 588-589; 528 NW2d 799 (1995).