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Published: Monday, 10/10/2005

Ohio Supreme Court upholds visitation rights for grandparents

COLUMBUS The Ohio Supreme Court ruled today that grandparents can be awarded the right to visit with their grandchildren over a parent s objections.

The court unanimously ruled in favor of grandparents who wanted to visit a granddaughter following the death of the girl s mother.

The girl s parents were never married. Her father, Brian Collier, said the grandparents tried to turn his daughter against him.

In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the visitation rights of grandparents. Since then, the highest courts in Iowa, Florida and Michigan have ruled in favor of parents over grandparents.

Ohio law properly balances the wishes of parents against the best interests of a child, Ohio Justice Alice Robie Resnick ruled.

A judge must set up a visitation schedule for Gary and Carol Harrold and their granddaughter Brittany, under the ruling. The Wooster couple raised Brittany after her mother, Renee, died of cancer.

The Harrolds should have visitation rights especially considering that they raised Brittany for the first five years of her life, Resnick said.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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