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Michigan High Court: 'One Parent' Rule Infringes

Updated: 06/03/2014 2:00 PM
Created: 06/03/2014 1:59 PM WDIO.com

DETROIT (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional a doctrine letting authorities remove children from their parents' custody if one is deemed unfit.

The court ruled Monday in a 5-2 decision that the one-parent doctrine infringes on the due process rights of parents, overturning lower courts.

Justices say the state must balance its interest in protecting children "with the fundamental rights of parents."

The ruling stemmed from a case involving a one-time Jackson County sheriff candidate. Lance Laird contested the state's decision to remove two sons from his home after he tested positive for cocaine and denying his request for a trial to determine his fitness as a parent.

One boy was removed from the custody of mother Tammy Sanders after the baby tested positive for cocaine at birth.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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