Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Guardianship of K.R.

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

December 31, 2018

In re Guardianship of K.R., a minor child.
v.
Mark R. and Cynthia R., Guardians, appellees. Heather R., appellant,

         1. Guardians and Conservators: Appeal and Error. Appeals of matters arising under the Nebraska Probate Code are reviewed for error on the record.

         2. Judgments: Appeal and Error. When reviewing a judgment for errors appearing on the record, the inquiry is whether the decision conforms to the law, is supported by competent evidence, and is neither arbitrary, capricious, nor unreasonable.

         3. ___: ___. An appellate court, in reviewing a judgment for errors appearing on the record, will not substitute its factual findings for those of the lower court where competent evidence supports those findings.

         4. Child Custody: Parental Rights. There are two competing principles in the area of child custody jurisprudence: the parental preference principle and the best interests of the child principle.

         5. Child Custody. Courts have long considered the best interests of the child to be of paramount concern in child custody disputes.

         6. Child Custody: Parental Rights. The principle of parental preference provides that a court may not properly deprive a biological or adoptive parent of the custody of the minor child unless it is affirmatively shown that such parent is unfit to perform the duties imposed by the parent-child relationship or has forfeited that right.

         7. Parental Rights: Guardians and Conservators: Presumptions. In guardianship termination proceedings involving a biological or adoptive parent, the parental preference principle serves to establish a rebuttable presumption that the best interests of a child are served by reuniting the child with his or her parent.

         8. Child Custody: Parental Rights. Under the parental preference principle, a parent's natural right to the custody of his or her child trumps [26 Neb.App. 714] the interest of strangers to the parent-child relationship and the preferences of the child.

         9. Child Custody: Parental Rights: Proof. For a court to deny a parent the custody of his or her minor child, it must be affirmatively shown that such parent is unfit to perform parental duties or that he or she has forfeited that right.

         10. Parental Rights: Guardians and Conservators: Proof. An individual who opposes the termination of a guardianship bears the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the biological or adoptive parent either is unfit or has forfeited his or her right to custody. Absent such proof, the constitutional dimensions of the relationship between parent and child require termination of the guardianship and reunification with the parent.

         11. Child Custody: Parental Rights. While preference must be given to a biological or adoptive parent's superior right to custody where the parent is not unfit and has not forfeited his or her parental rights, a court also considers the child's best interests in making its custody determination.

         12. Child Custody: Parental Rights: Proof. The parental preference doctrine, by definition, is a preference, and it will be applied to a child custody determination unless it is shown that the lawful parent is unfit or has forfeited his or her superior right or the preference is negated by a demonstration that the best interests of the child lie elsewhere.

          Appeal from the County Court for Douglas County: Marcela A. Keim, Judge.

          Julie A. Frank for appellant.

          Patrick A. Campagna, of Campagna Law, PC, L.L.O., for appellees.

          Pirtle, Riedmann, and Welch, Judges.

          PIRTLE, JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Heather R. appeals from an order of the Douglas County Court where the court refused to terminate the guardianship over her daughter K.R. and refused to reinstate visitation between Heather and K.R. Based on the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         [26 Neb.App. 715] BACKGROUND

         Heather is the biological mother of K.R., born in 2007. Kameron's biological father is unknown. Appellees, Mark R. and Cynthia R., are Heather's parents and K.R.'s grandparents.

         On June 27, 2014, appellees filed a petition for appointment of a guardian for a minor, seeking coguardianship of K.R. They also filed a motion for ex parte appointment of guardian, seeking the immediate appointment of guardianship over K.R. The court granted the ex parte motion. Heather filed an answer and an ex parte motion to set aside the ex parte appointment of temporary coguardians.

         On August 4, 2014, the court overruled Heather's motion to set aside the ex parte appointment of temporary coguardians. The ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.