Troxel V. Granville Case

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Raisha Williams

Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000)
Procedural History: The paternal grandparents brought this case to the courts petitioning for the right of visitation of their granddaughters. The maternal parent (the children’s mother), thus agreed to allow the paternal grandparents to have limited visitation, but would not agree to the extended visitation. The children’s mother then appealed the court’s granting of visitation as unconstitutional. Facts: Tommie Granville and Brad Troxel were in non marital relationship together and had two daughters during the course of this relationship, which ended in 1991. Brad’s parents (the paternal grandparents) whom he was living with during his relationship to Tommie had regular weekend visits from their granddaughters. In 1993, Brad committed suicide, and Tommie informed his parents that she wanted to shorten the visits from every weekend to once a month. The Troxel’s filed suit for the right to visit their grandchildren, under section 26.10.160(3) of the Revised Code of Washington, which permits "any person" to petition for visitation rights "at any time" and authorizes state superior courts to grant such rights whenever visitation may serve a child's best interest. The Troxel’s petitioned to the courts requesting two weekend overnight visitation per month and two week visitation over the summer. Granville asked the courts to grant the Troxel’s once a month visitation with no overnight visitation. The courts ruled in favor of the paternal grandparents, but the Court of Appeals reverses the decision saying “the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the statute unconstitutionally interfered with parents' right to rear their children, according to the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment”. Issue: Does the Washington statute allowing any person to petition for visitation rights at any time infringe on the liberty interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children; which is a...
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