Case Conclusion Date: January 13, 2006
Practice Area: Family
Outcome: Successful appeal brought by grandparents
Description: A young father was killed in a car accident, and the mother (whose fitness to parent was in serious question) made the unfortunate decision to deny the father's parents (the paternal grandparents) any access to to their grandchild (even though these grandparents had been raising this grandchild in their own home for quite some time). The grandparents brought a suit for custody of their grandchild, or for at least some access to their grandchild. The Court initially threw the grandparents' case out of court (at that time the grandparents were not represented by Jack Riley). The grandparents could not stomach the idea of never again being permitted to see their grandchild, so the grandparents hired Jack Riley to fix the problem. Jack Riley successfully pursued an appeal on behalf of the grandparents, and the appellate court overturned the trial court's decision, in effect reinstating the grandparents' case. After further litigation, the child lives today with his grandparents and is safe in their custody. Note: The Judge referenced above, Justice David Gaultney, authored the well-reasoned opinion of the 9th Court of Appeals, which reversed the decision of the trial court.