Posts tagged "Norbert"

Adoption of Norbert (and a companion case) (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-055-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030;       12‑P‑651                                        Appeals Court   ADOPTION OF NORBERT (and a companion case).[1]     No. 12‑P‑651. Worcester.     October 11, 2012.  ‑  April 25, 2013. Present:  Graham, Vuono, & Hanlon, JJ.   Adoption, Dispensing with parent’s consent.  Minor, Adoption.  Parent and Child, Adoption, Dispensing with parent’s consent to adoption.  Due Process of Law, Adoption.  Judge.  Practice, Civil, Adoption, Disqualification of judge, Questioning of witness by judge.       Petitions filed in the Worcester County Division of the Juvenile Court Department on November 14, 2008, and June 30, 2010.   After consolidation, the cases were heard by George F. Leary, J.     Mark A. Papirio for the mother. Brian R. Pariser for Department of Children and Families. S. Michael Fournier for the children.     VUONO, J.  The mother appeals from decrees entered in the Juvenile Court terminating her parental rights as to her son, Norbert, and her daughter, Monica, and dispensing with her consent to their adoption.[2]  She argues that the decrees should be vacated because the judge was biased and her right to due process was violated by the judge’s extensive questioning of her and other witnesses throughout the trial.  We affirm. Background.  Because the mother does not challenge the judge’s findings, including the ultimate finding of her parental unfitness, we provide only the necessary background.  On November 14, 2008, and June 30, 2010, the Department of Children and Families (department) filed petitions alleging that Norbert and Monica were in need of care and protection.  After six nonconsecutive days of trial and consideration of numerous exhibits and reports, the judge issued decrees that permanently committed the children to the custody of the department and terminated the mother’s parental rights.  The judge, in his findings of fact and conclusions of law, all of which were amply supported by the evidence, found that the mother suffered from chronic untreated mental health issues and lacked insight into her parenting deficiencies.  During the time the children were in the mother’s custody, they were frequently exposed to domestic violence.  In addition, the mother often acted inappropriately.  For example, on at least on occasion, the mother invited a stranger whom she met on a telephone date line into her home for a sexual encounter while the children were present.  Furthermore, the mother missed numerous visits with her children when they were in the custody […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm

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