In Matter of E.S. v P.D., 2006 NYSlipOp 02385, March 28, 2006, Appellate Division, Second Department Decided on February 15, 2007, a New York appellate court upheld a trial court decision giving grandparenting time to an 82-year old grandmother of her deceased child’s daughter over the objection of the child’s father.
The Court rejected the father’s contention that the New York statute is facially unconstitutional, noting that the language of the statute accords deference to the decisions of a fit parent and also requires a grandparent to surmount a huge hurdle to overcome the presumption that a fit parent’s decision is in the best interests of the child.
Similarly, the Court rejected the father’s contention that the New York statute is unconstitutional as applied, noting that the grandparent had established that she was the child’s surrogate live-in parent between the ages of 4 and 7.
Daniel E. Clement, author of the New York Divorce and Family Law Blog, has written an excellent analysis of this case. This seems truly to be the kind of case in which grandparent visitation is intended to apply.