In re A.G.

After Mother and Father divorced, the parties disputed the custody of their child, A.G. During a court proceeding concerning custody, the juvenile court excluded A.G., who was thirteen years old at the time, from attending the hearing. A.G. had filed a motion to attend the hearing, but the judge denied the motion, concluding that the dispute was between the parents, and therefore, A.G. had not constitutional right to be present. A.G. appealed, claiming that the trial court violated her due process rights by denying her motion to attend the proceeding. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that the trial court had discretion to exclude A.G., a nonparty, from a hearing in custody litigation ancillary to her parents’ divorce. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) in child-custody litigation arising from a divorce, a court has discretion to exclude a child from any proceeding if it determines that exclusion is in the best interest of the child; and (2) the juvenile court in this case considered relevant and appropriate factors in making its decision. View "In re A.G." on Justia Law