Case Conclusion Date: July 31, 2008
Practice Area: Family
Outcome: Affirmed Court of Appeals decision
Description: Our client was an unmarried father who was a Respondent/Defendant in an Order for Protection (â€œOFPâ€) proceeding in Hennepin County Family Court. After agreeing to the issuance of the OFP, our client asked for parenting time with his son. The judge granted him parenting time. The mother appealed the judgeâ€™s ruling to the Minnesota Court of Appeals and, ultimately, to the Minnesota Supreme Court. She argued that the judge did not have the power to award an unmarried father parenting time with his son if he had never been to court before to seek custody and if he had established his paternity only through a Recognition of Parentage â€“ a form signed by both mother and father following the birth stating that the man is the childâ€™s father. This decision confirms what we have long believed the law to be. That a district court judge has the power, if he/she chooses, to award unmarried fathers parenting time with their children during Order for Protection proceedings.