Terrence E. v. Christopher R. (Signed Opinion)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the ruling of the circuit court denying Father's request to terminate the guardianship of Respondents, holding that the circuit court erred by requiring Father to demonstrate a material change of circumstances in order to terminate the existing guardianship.
As a result of Mother's incarceration, Guardians, who were Mother's parents, filed a petition to be appointed guardians of the child in this case. The circuit court granted the guardianship. Father subsequently filed a motion to terminate Guardians' guardianship, asserting that a change of circumstances had occurred because Father had shown that he was a fit parent and could provide the proper care and stability for the child. The circuit court denied Father's petition on grounds that Father had not demonstrated a material change of circumstances. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case, holding (1) because the circuit court's guardianship order did not sufficiently address the statutory factors required for the appointment of a guardian, the order must be treated as one establishing a temporary guardianship; and (2) the court applied the wrong burden of proof to Father's request to terminate the guardianship.