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Family — guardianship

Wisconsin Court of Appeals


Family — guardianship

Steven P. and Donna P., prospective adoptive parents of Giovanna P., appeal the trial court’s order dismissing their third-party guardianship petition under Wis. Stat. § 54.10 (2009-10). They ask us to amend the standard articulated in Barstad v. Frazier, 118 Wis. 2d 549, 348 N.W.2d 479 (1984), for determining when a third-party should be granted a guardianship, arguing that the current standard, which does not consider the best interests of the child, violates Giovanna’s due process rights. However, even if we reject the new standard they propose, Steven and Donna argue that the trial court erred in concluding that Giovanna’s birth parents, Maegan F. and Noel G., are fit and able parents. Finally, Steven and Donna argue that the trial court erroneously exercised its discretion in excluding certain evidence from trial.

We do not have the authority to modify or amend case law from a previous supreme court case. Moreover, we conclude that the trial court applied the correct law as it is currently articulated and properly exercised its discretion, both in determining that Maegan and Noel are fit and able parents and in its evidentiary decisions at trial. Thus, we affirm the trial court’s order dismissing Steven and Donna’s guardianship petition. Not recommended for publication in the official reports.

2011AP2887 In the matter of the guardianship of Giovanna P.

Dist I, Milwaukee County, Murray, J., Brennan, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Mura, Renee E., Kenosha; For Respondent: Velnetske, Chris R., Thiensville; Moon, Laurence M., Whitefish Bay

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