Guardianship of Hatfield, In re, 43879

Decision Date25 January 1972
Docket NumberNo. 43879,43879
Citation493 P.2d 819,1972 OK 10
PartiesIn the Matter of the GUARDIANSHIP of Michelle Anne HATFIELD and Charlene Lynne Farar, Minors.
CourtOklahoma Supreme Court

Syllabus by the Court

Where the maternal grandmother of two minors and appointed their guardian at a time when their mother was without a husband and had no home for them, but the mother later married and with her husband established a home and then applied for termination of the guardianship and vesting of children's custody in her upon ground guardianship was no longer proper or necessary and vesting children's custody in her would be for their best interests, the court erred in adopting the view that she was required to introduce evidence of the guardian's immorality, and also in rejecting her offer of other evidence in support of her application.

Appeal from District Court of Tulsa County; Whit Y. Mauzy, Judge.

Maternal grandmother was appointed guardian of two minors while their natural mother was without a home or husband. After remarriage the mother applied for termination of guardianship and recovery of minors' custody over guardian's objections. Trial court refused mother's application, and rejected offer to prove the guardianship should be terminated, as no longer necessary or proper because of change in her domestic situation, and of her fitness and suitability to have the minors' custody. The mother appealed from such order and judgment. Reversed and remanded with directions.

Wm. W. Hood, Jr., Tulsa, for petitioner in error, Patricia Anne Farar Torrence.

Johnson & Fisher, by Ted R. Fisher, Tulsa, for respondent in error, Reba Lane Hatfield.

BARNES, Justice:

Mrs. Reba Lane Hatfield, maternal grandmother of the minors, Charlene Farar and Michelle Hatfield, was appointed their guardian in April, 1965. They were then approximately two and four years old, respectively, and had no income or estate. The minors' mother, Patricia Anne Farar, was not married; and Mrs. Hatfield was appointed upon her own petition, alleging, in substance, that the minors' care and support had been left largely to her and her husband, and that the mother was threatening to leave town with them under circumstances that would not be for the minors' best interests.

Thereafter, in July, 1969, the mother, Patricia, instituted the present action by filing her application, in the guardianship proceedings, to terminate the guardianship and obtain custody of the minors. In her application, she alleged, among other things in substance, that she had married one John Torrence; that she and her said husband had established a good home; that applicant is a fit and proper person to have the minors' custody; that Mrs. Hatfield is not; and that it would be for the minors' best interests that applicant, their natural mother, be vested with their complete care, custody and control.

When a demurrer, which Mrs. Hatfield (hereinafter referred to as 'respondent') filed to the application, came on to be heard, the court overruled it on the theory that only by interpreting its allegation of respondent's unfitness to have the minors' custody, as broad enough to allow proof of her 'gross immorality' as specified in Title 30, O.S.1961, § 18, as the fourth ground for the removal of guardians, could the application be regarded as stating a cause of action for the relief prayed for therein.

When the cause later came on for trial, applicant's attorney proposed, as an 'offer of proof,' to show (among other things) that due to the changes in his client's situation (referred to in her application) from that which had existed at the time the minors were placed under the grandmother's guardianship, it was (in the words of § 18, supra, par. 8) 'no longer proper' that they be under guardianship. The court sustained an objection interposed by respondent to the introduction of such evidence and allowed applicant an exception to such ruling. Thereupon, the applicant rested, and the court...

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7 cases
  • In re S.A.H.
    • United States
    • Oklahoma Supreme Court
    • 1 February 2022
    ...503 P.3d 1190In the MATTER OF the ADOPTION OF: S.A.H., Minor Child.In the Matter of the Guardianship of: S.A.H., Minor Child.118,986 (Companion w/ No. 119,218)119,218 (Companion w/ No. 118,986)Supreme ... 30 O.S.2011, 4-804 ; In re Guardianship of Hatfield , 1972 OK 10, 8, 493 P.2d 819, 821 ; see also Grose v. Romero , 1948 OK 120, 200 Okla. 330, 193 ... ...
  • In re S.A.H.
    • United States
    • Oklahoma Supreme Court
    • 1 February 2022
    ...2022 OK 10 IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF: S.A.H., Minor Child. IN THE MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP OF: S.A.H., Minor Child. Nos. 118986, 119218Supreme Court of OklahomaFebruary 1, 2022 ... to the welfare of the child. 30 O.S.2011, § 4-804; ... In re Guardianship of Hatfield, 1972 OK 10, ¶ ... 8, 493 P.2d 819, 821; see also Grose v. Romero, 1948 ... OK 120, 193 P.2d ... ...
  • Guardianship of M.R.S.
    • United States
    • Oklahoma Supreme Court
    • 12 May 1998 the welfare of the minors." ¶10 We later discussed the grounds for termination of the guardianship of a minor in In re Guardianship of Hatfield, 1972 OK 10, 493 P.2d 819. 4 In that case the trial judge denied natural mother's application to terminate the maternal grandmother's guardiansh......
  • In re Guardianship of HDB, 95,434.
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma
    • 11 September 2001
    ... ... In re Guardianship of Hatfield, 1972 OK 10, ¶ 8, 493 P.2d 819, 821 ...         ¶ 16 This Court perceives no legal purpose to be served by creating different definitions ... ...
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