I am representing my self in a grandparents visitation case, the hearing officer denied my request for visitation stating that according to RS:344, since my son is not deceased, incarcerated or interdicted, I am not allowed visitation. But wouldn't RS 344 (d) apply to me?? Should I appeal her ruling? She says I can appeal all the way to the supreme court and that I will lose...is this true? I only have 3 days to appeal...
LA RS 9:344D applies in situations where parents are divorced or separated for more than 6 months and allows a court discretion to award visitation in the best interests of the child. Additionally, LA Civil Code Article 136 works in conjunction with 9:344D, the court must consider the longevity and quality of your relationship with the child; your ability to provide needed guidance; the preference of the child, if the child is able to express a preference; your willingness to promote the child's relationship with the parent; and the mental and physical health of both the child and the relative. Of course, in conjunction with both of those codes, the courts also must be mindful of the US Supreme Court's direction in Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 147 L.Ed. 2d 49, 120 S.Ct. 2054 (2000), where the court stated the lower courts must also consider that the rights of both parents in these cases are paramount to the rights of the grandparents to visitation.Thus, you should file your appeal if you qualify under RS 9:344D and Article 136, keeping in mind the Supreme Court's determination as well.
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all you did was quote the law....I already knew what it said...
I am sorry that you knew what the law said, but I also do not know any facts of your case as you did not disclose them, so I am afraid I could not give you an in depth analysis based on the lack of information from you as to whether or not you can appeal. In order to successfully appeal this matter you have to prove that this judge abused their discretion, since the statutes say that the court has discretion in granting or not granting the visitation. An abuse of discretion standard according to the LA Supreme Court Supreme is a "judgment call" based on whether or not the court has articulated legal basis for their decision. See: Coco v. Winston Industries, 341 So.2d 332 (La.1976). Thus, you have to show that the court did not have any legal basis from the facts at the hearing to reach this conclusion denying you the visitation rights.
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