MCL, MCR or caselaw re:courts jurisdiction in CPPs for Termination of Parental Rights, when petitioner is non-offending parent?

Asked over 1 year ago - Howell, MI

Specifically, any related Legal precedence, case law, court rule or MCL re: non-offending parent petitioning to terminate respondent parents parental rights; when DHS did NOT step in and remove the child from respondents home, custody or care. How to establish courts jurisdiction, and right/justification to retain jurisdiction, over a child when CPS was not involved? 4 Grounds for termination are in evidence, but petition filed by parent, so how can 'the departments determination of risk of harm' MCL712A.2(b) be established without DHS' removal? Any caselaw where NON-AGENCY person ruled to have the AUTHORITY to determine risk of harm?! Can respondents incarceration at time of filing negate courts jurisdiction, argument being he couldnt PHYSICALLY present a 'risk of harm to the child'?

Additional information

There are no custody or support orders or ANY civil court proceedings re:child, until I filed petition for termination of parental rights in January of 2012... Isn't there a provision that states if the initial petition filed is for Termination, and more than 182 days have lapsed since it's filing without there being a service plane put on record or entering a judgement regarding the judgement, that is grounds for court to grant termination without trial of facts occuring first? I read something similar to this a few months back, can't recall specifically the details or where I found it or which MCL/MCR is was within... Direction or guidance would be greatly appreciated on this & (all) other mentioned issues. Help us please!!

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Katrina Ann Martin

    Contributor Level 8


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . I think that your course of action might better be served by having the non-offending parent file for sole legal and physical custody of the minor child. If granted, it would not terminate the rights forevermore, but it would strip the parent of rights to the child until such a time as that parent could establish to the court that there has been a change in circumstances.

    I would seek the advice of an attorney in your area.

  2. Michael J. Olson

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . It is difficult but not impossible to terminate parental rights. It is not something you are likely be about to do yourself. If you would like a consultation on your specific issues, email me at

    So there is no misunderstanding, my answer to your question does not establish an attorney/client relationship... more

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