The superior court of Washington for King County deprived the parents of X, a minor, of any and all parental rights in or to the child and directed that he be a ward of the court. Y, the maternal grandmother, petitioned for custody of the child. After complete and extended inquiry into Y's ability to care for the child the superior court (called the juvenile court in this type of proceeding), denied the request for custody due primarily to Y's tubercular condition. Held Reversed and remanded. When the parents were permanently deprived of custody the grandmother became the natural guardian and was entitled to custody if she were found to be a proper person. The majority opinion expressly states that the record presented supports the finding that the grandmother was unfit. The case, however, is remanded for further proceedings because Y's claim that the court below did not regard her as having a "preference right" to the child by virtue of her natural guardianship and also due to her assertion that she would be able to submit evidence of an improved physical condition. Four judges dissented. State ex rel. Michelson v. Superior Court, 41 Wn.2d 718, 251 P.2d 603 (1952).
Jack J. Lobdell,
Domestic Relations—Natural Guardianship in Grandparents,
28 Wash. L. Rev. & St. B.J.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol28/iss3/21