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Family Law Keyed to Weisberg
In Re Baby Girl Clausen
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- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
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- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
On February 8, 1991 Cara Clausen gave birth to a baby girl. On February 10, she signed a release of custody, relinquishing her parental rights to the child, and named Scott Seefeld as the father. On February 14, he executed a release of custody. On February 25, petitioners, Michigan residents, petitioned the Iowa court to adopt the child. At hearing, the parental rights of Clausen and Seefeld were terminated, and petitioners were granted custody during the pendency of the proceeding. Petitioners returned to Michigan with the child. Nine days after filing of the adoption proceeding Clausen filed a motion to revoke her release of custody stating that she had lied when she named Seefeld as the father and that the actual father was Daniel Schmidt. Schmidt filed an affidavit of paternity seeking to intervene in the adoption proceeding initiated by petitioners. The Iowa court found that Schmidt was the biological father and that petitioners failed to establish either that he had abandoned the child or that his rights should be terminated. It determined that the best interests of the child analysis becomes appropriate only after a showing of abandonment. The court concluded that the termination proceedings were void with respect to Schmidt, and the petitioners’ petition to adopt must be denied. Petitioners filed a petition in Michigan asking the court to assume jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCJA). They requested the court enjoin enforcement of the Iowa custody order and find it was unenforceable, or in the alternative to modify it to give custody to the petitioners. The Michigan court entered an ex parte temporary restraining order directing the child to remain in the custody of petitioners and ordered Schmidt not to remove the child. The Michigan court found it had jurisdiction to find the best interests of the child, denied Schmidt’s motion for summary judgment, and directed that the child remain with petitioners until further order of the court.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
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- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
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