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161118-9 - In re Guardianship of Orta, Minor

Maria Orta,


Vivek Sankaran





(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)



(Delta – Goebel, R.)


Lisa Keeney, Guardian,


Benjamin Parmet





In 2015, the maternal grandmother (respondent) of two young children obtained full guardianship over the children after the children’s mother (petitioner) agreed to leave the children in her care for a month and later agreed to extend that stay until the petitioner could get into an apartment.  The trial court denied the petitioner’s petitions to terminate the guardianship in 2016 and 2018.  In an unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s most recent order denying the petitioner’s petition to terminate the guardianship.  In so doing, the Court of Appeals relied on In re Ferranti, 504 Mich 1 (2019), to permit the petitioner to attack the initial 2015 guardianship determination.  The court found that because the term “reside” in MCL 700.5204(2)(b) requires that the petitioner intend that the children permanently reside with the respondent and because there was no such intent here, the initial guardianship was invalid.  The Supreme Court has ordered oral argument on the application to address:  (1) whether In re Ferranti, 504 Mich 1 (2019), applies to guardianship proceedings; and (2) whether, to establish a guardianship under MCL 700.5204(2)(b), a parent must intend that his or her child permanently reside with another person.​