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Blogs | December 24, 2015
2 minute read

MSC will examine the collateral attack rule as it applies to cases terminating parental rights

In In re Jones, No. 152595, the Michigan Supreme Court granted leave to appeal to determine what a respondent must do to preserve for appeal any alleged errors in adjudication from an order terminating parental rights.  The court will reconsider its decision in In re Hatcher, 443 Mich 426 (1993), 

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) filed a petition to remove two children from their mother’s home.  The petition indicated neglect and abuse, and DHHS filed a supplemental petition that included additional allegations.  At the preliminary hearing, the trial court determined that it could exercise jurisdiction over the children and authorized the petition in light of the mother’s admissions.  The mother appealed, and amongst multiple claims, she argued that the trial court lacked jurisdiction over her children and failed to advise her of the consequences of entering a plea before she stated her admissions on record.  The Court of Appeals concluded that the mother was precluded from challenging the trial court’s exercise of jurisdiction because she appealed from a dispositional order of termination entered after the initial adjudication.

The Michigan Supreme Court is reconsidering its decision in In re Hatcher, 443 Mich. 426 (1993), to apply "the collateral attack rule to bar a challenge to the adjudication as part of an appeal from an order terminating parental rights, notwithstanding the entry of intervening dispositional orders that were appealable of right, see MCR 3.993(A)(1)."  If the Court determines the opinion was incorrect, the parties must also address what a respondent must do to preserve for appeal any alleged errors in the adjudication, and what effect, if any, a party’s failure to utilize an appeal of right may have on that party’s subsequent appeal of that issue.