In re MullenAnnotate this Case
After Michele Hobbs and Kelly Mullen decided to have a child together, Mullen became pregnant through in vitro fertilization procedure with donated sperm. Mullen executed a will in which she nominated Hobbs as the guardian of her child and a health-care power of attorney and durable power of attorney in which she gave Hobbs the authority to make decisions regarding the child. Hobbs and Mullen co-parented for two years, after which the women's relationship deteriorated. Hobbs then filed a complaint for shared custody in the juvenile court, alleging that Mullen had created a contract through her conduct with Hobbs to permanently share legal custody of the child. The juvenile court dismissed Hobbs's complaint for shared legal custody, concluding that a preponderance of the evidence did not conclusively demonstrate that Mullen's conduct created a contract that permanently gave partial custodial rights of the child to Hobbs. The court of appeals affirmed. On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed, holding that competent, credible evidence supported the juvenile court's conclusion that Mullen, by her conduct, did not enter into an agreement with Hobbs through which Mullen permanently relinquished sole custody of her child in favor of shared custody with Hobbs.