Campbell, Matter of

Decision Date29 August 1988
Docket NumberDocket No. 103511
Citation170 Mich.App. 243,428 N.W.2d 347
PartiesIn the Matter of Chrystal L. CAMPBELL, Victoria Campbell and Kristina Campbell, minors. DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, Petitioner-Appellee, v. Barbara HORN, Respondent-Appellant, and John Campbell, Respondent. 170 Mich.App. 243, 428 N.W.2d 347
CourtCourt of Appeal of Michigan — District of US

[170 MICHAPP 244] Baker & Chadwick (by C. Clifford Chadwick), Bloomfield Hills, for Chrystal, Victoria and Kristina Campbell.

Lynn Rose, Birmingham, for Barbara Horn.

[170 MICHAPP 245] Before HOOD, P.J., and CYNAR and BURNS, * JJ.

CYNAR, Judge.

Respondent, Barbara Horn, appeals as of right from a July 31, 1987, order terminating her parental rights to her three children, the twins, Victoria and Kristina, date of birth November 13, 1983, and Chrystal, date of birth July 15, 1978. We affirm.

A preliminary hearing was held on June 8, 1984, based on Madison Heights Protective Services Worker Jane Ishii's complaint. Following the hearing, Victoria and Kristina were placed in a foster home and Chrystal was placed with her maternal grandmother, Virginia Franks. Ishii presented a formal petition to the court on June 18, 1984. The court ordered that the children remain in their prior placements. At the June 28, 1984, initial hearing, Horn and John Campbell (the natural father, who is not a party to this appeal) stood mute to the petition.

At the August 2, 1984, hearing, the probate court ordered that (1) Victoria and Kristina continue in foster care, (2) Chrystal be temporarily released to Virginia Franks, (3) Horn and Campbell complete parent education classes, (4) Horn attend Al-Anon meetings, (5) Campbell attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, (6) Horn and Campbell receive counseling, and (7) any visitations by Horn and Campbell be supervised.

Subsequently, on June 11, 1986, Campbell pled no contest to the April 7, 1986, petition and the probate court terminated his parental rights. The April 7 petition was later amended. Horn pled no contest to the amended petition with the understanding[170 MICHAPP 246] that the contested disposition be adjourned for six months so that her progress could be monitored. The probate court questioned Horn and then accepted her no contest plea. Horn's attorney was satisfied that the court complied with MCR 6.101(F)(1)-(3). The matter was scheduled for review in six months in accordance with the parties' agreement.

On March 2, 1987, a contested dispositional hearing was held pursuant to recommendations that respondent's parental rights be terminated. Constance Sidor, the foster mother for Kristina and Victoria, testified that respondent had not visited the twins since October 14, 1986. Nancy Rebar, a supervisor of Children's Services of Oakland County Family Services, recommended that respondent's parental rights in the twins be terminated because, in the past three years, she had not parented Kristina or Victoria. Rebar's conversations with the twins' stepfather revealed that respondent had a "neglectful attitude" towards them, that respondent did not really want to parent them, she was attempting to regain custody of the twins so as to ultimately regain custody of Chrystal and, in the stepfather's opinion, the twins would be better off if he and respondent did not have custody.

After Rebar's testimony, the hearing was adjourned until April 2, 1987, pending the completion of a psychiatric evaluation of respondent. The April 2, 1987, hearing was also adjourned because respondent was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital in Radford, Virginia.

At the April 29, 1987, hearing, psychology expert Martha Wright testified that she was a therapist at Whaley's Children's Center which is a residential treatment facility for emotionally-impaired children. Chrystal was one of her [170 MICHAPP 247] cases. When she first became involved with Chrystal, Chrystal was suffering from an attention deficit disorder. She was extremely hyperactive, impulsive and had difficulty attending to any given situation. Chrystal also showed symptoms of having been sexually abused. Chrystal told Wright that, while living with her mother and grandmother, the mother would take baths with her and occasionally took Chrystal to the bars. The mother frequently wore little or no clothing, dressed in front of Chrystal, cuddled under the blanket with her for long periods of time with little or no clothing, and asked Chrystal to massage her legs. The grandmother also asked Chrystal to sleep with her. Respondent has also physically abused Chrystal by hitting her with a wooden spoon if she was inattentive to her mother's needs or misbehaved in school. Chrystal was apparently sexually abused by a neighbor named Lou. Lou was eventually prosecuted for the molestation at respondent's insistence. However, Lou was in the home several times after respondent's mother first discovered the sexual abuse. Chrystal felt angry and unprotected by her mother over the incidents with the neighbor. Chrystal was also sexually provocative around male adults as well as male peers. She would get up in the night, turn on her bathroom light and show her body to a male child living across the hall and she attempted to touch the legs of the male staff at Whaley.

Wright recommended that respondent's parental rights be terminated as to Chrystal because respondent would not be able to meet her needs based on respondent's history of lengthy psychiatric hospitalization and her need to be hospitalized. Respondent distorts what she is told and sometimes[170 MICHAPP 248] becomes easily enraged. She has minimal patience in dealing with Chrystal's frustrating behaviors. Chrystal looks forward to seeing her mother, but afterwards she becomes regressed. Chrystal was not frightened of seeing her mother. She was afraid of returning to her mother's custody. During a visit with Chrystal, respondent became inappropriately tearful over the medication which Chrystal was taking to help her function in school. Respondent also cried when Chrystal reminded her that she might be adopted.

Ruth Szabo, a senior psychologist at the Oakland County Juvenile Court Psychological Clinic, conducted a psychological evaluation of Chrystal on April 22, 1986. Szabo recommended permanent wardship because respondent did not obtain the parenting help which she needed and did not give the type of emotional support and structure that Chrystal needed. During her interview with the child, Chrystal indicated that she had several sexual experiences, including intercourse with the respondent's boyfriend. Respondent told Chrystal not to tell anyone about these experiences.

Following this hearing, the probate court ordered that respondent undergo a psychological evaluation. At the next scheduled hearing, which took place on July 22, 1987, respondent did not appear nor had she contacted her attorney. After numerous attempts, her attorney was unable to contact her.

At this hearing, Charles Yelton, the children's caseworker, testified that respondent did not complete the parent education classes, did not consistently continue with therapy, was institutionalized [170 MICHAPP 249] in psychiatric wards at least three times, did not comply with the requirement that she be in Al-Anon, and never submitted a custodial plan for the children. Respondent was convicted on a "bad check charge" and sentenced to probation with which she did not comply. Yelton recommended termination of respondent's parental rights because she is a damaged individual since her mother raised her "abnormally" and she was passing that treatment on to her children. Both respondent and her mother physically and sexually abused the children.

Following Yelton's testimony, the probate court summarized the testimony and stated that it would enter an order terminating respondent's parental rights. On July 31, 1987, the probate judge entered an order terminating respondent's parental rights. The order provided that it "incorporates the findings of fact and conclusions of law on a separate written statement to follow." On November 23, 1987, the court issued a twenty-three page opinion setting forth findings of fact and conclusions of law warranting termination. Respondent appealed.

First, respondent alleges that the probate court did not comply with certain requirements of MCR 6.101(F) before accepting respondent's no contest plea. Specifically, she claims that the court did not comply with MCR 6.101(F)(1)(c)(x) by not advising her that she had a right to testify, MCR 6.101(F)(2)(c)(iii) by not asking her if it was her own choice to plead, and MCR 6.101(F)(3)(b)(ii) by not conducting a hearing to establish support for her plea. Respondent did not move to withdraw her plea as required by MCR 6.101(F)(7). Nonetheless, she claims that MCR 6.101(F)(7) should not bar appellate review of this issue because her [170 MICHAPP 250] appellate counsel was unaware of the alleged errors. 1

A defendant may not raise the issue of alleged noncompliance with MCR 6.101(F)(1)-(4) unless the defendant has moved to withdraw the plea in the trial court. MCR 6.101(F)(7)(a); People v. Richardson, 144 Mich.App. 616, 619, 376 N.W.2d 167 (1985). Respondent has not preserved the issue. However, even if we address her claims that the judge did not comply with MCR 6.101(F), we find no merit.

At the outset, we note that MCR 6.101 is a criminal procedural rule. Juvenile proceedings in probate court are not deemed criminal proceedings, M.C.L. Sec. 712A.1; M.S.A. Sec. 27.3178(598.1); In re Stricklin, 148 Mich. 659, 666, 384 N.W.2d 833 (1986), lv. den. 425 Mich. 856 (1986). Proceedings in juvenile court need not conform with all the requirements of a criminal proceeding, but essential requirements of due process and fair treatment must be met. In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1, 30-31, 87 S.Ct. 1428, 1445-1446, 18 L.Ed.2d 527 (1967); In re Belcher, 143 Mich.App. 68, 71, 371...

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5 cases
  • Schmeltzer, Matter of
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • 28 Abril 1989
    ... ... M.C.L. Sec. 712A.19a(e); M.S.A. Sec. 27.3178(598.19a)(e) ...         This Court reviews the decision of a probate court to terminate parental rights under the clearly erroneous standard. In re Campbell, 170 Mich.App. 243, 253-254, 428 N.W.2d 347 (1988). A decision is clearly erroneous when, although there is sufficient evidence to support the decision, the reviewing court on the entire record is left with a definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed. In re Cornet, 422 Mich ... ...
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    • 13 Abril 2023
    ... ... toilet training and language skills ...          Eventually, ... the matter proceeded to a termination hearing, where the ... caseworker testified that respondent completed most of what ... was asked of her ... merely because the neglect by the parents was not ... culpable." In re Campbell , 170 Mich.App. 243, ... 255; 428 N.W.2d 347 (1988). Accordingly, culpable neglect is ... not required for termination to be appropriate ... ...
  • Zelzack, Matter of
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    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • 26 Octubre 1989
    ...the requirements of a criminal proceeding, essential requirements of due process and fair treatment must be met. In re Campbell, 170 Mich.App. 243, 250, 428 N.W.2d 347 (1988). We therefore apply, by analogy, criminal law and find that the essential requirements of due process and fair treat......
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