Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a Rhode Island family court case discussing whether the plaintiff grandmother could obtain visitation rights to see her grandchildren. Ultimately, the court concluded that the children’s father was a fit parent and that the plaintiff failed to overcome the presumption that a fit parent’s decisions are reasonable. Thus, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s petition for visitation.
The Facts of the Case
According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff’s daughter was married to the defendant. The couple had two children. The couple eventually filed for divorce, but while the divorce was pending the plaintiff was shot and killed by law enforcement in a bank robbery.
Initially, the plaintiff maintained a good relationship with the defendant, taking his side over her daughters in the divorce. After the plaintiff’s daughter died, the plaintiff helped the defendant with child-care, because the plaintiff worked. However, the defendant noticed that after visits with the plaintiff, his children would come back with bags under their eyes, diarrhea, and symptoms of being sick. The children eventually started to exhibit behavioral problems at school, most notably after visits with the plaintiff.