SAGINAW (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan appeals court has made a key ruling in a case involving the rights of grandparents to see grandchildren.

The court says Robert and Judith Porter have no standing to seek time with two grandchildren. That’s because the kids’ father had his parental rights terminated.

In a 2-1 decision, the court says the Porters may be biological grandparents but they’re no longer considered legal grandparents. The case originated in Saginaw County.

“Although some may say this is a harsh decision, Michigan law puts a premium on the decision-making of the natural parents. In this case, the mother made the decision not to have any type of visitation for the paternal grandparents,” said WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton.

Saginaw County Judge James Borchard had reluctantly ruled against the Porters in 2011, saying they’re “fine people.” He had hoped the appeals court would reverse his decision, but the court said Borchard correctly interpreted Michigan law.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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