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In re Leo L.

Appellate Court of Connecticut

June 26, 2019

IN RE LEO L. et al.[*]

         Argued May 13, 2019.

Page 431

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 432

         Appeal from the Superior Court in the judicial district of Middlesex, Child Protection Session, where the court, Woods, J.

         Christopher DeMatteo, New Haven, for the appellant (intervenor).

         Evan O’Roark, assistant attorney general, with whom, on the brief, were William Tong, attorney general, Clare Kindall, solicitor general, and Benjamin Zivyon, assistant attorney general, for the appellee (petitioner).

         Elgo, Moll and Norcott, Js.

          OPINION

         MOLL, J.

         [191 Conn.App. 135] The intervening grandfather, Eugene L. (intervenor), appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to transfer the guardianship of his two minor grandchildren, Leo L. and Dakota F.H., to himself and his fiancée, Crystal H. On appeal, the intervenor contends that the court erroneously determined that the transfer of guardianship would not be in the children’s best interests and, thus, abused its discretion in denying his motion. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         [191 Conn.App. 136] The following procedural history and facts, as set forth in the trial court’s memorandum of decision, are relevant to our disposition of the intervenor’s claim. Leo L. and Dakota F.H. are the children of Monique L., and the intervenor is their maternal grandfather. On August 4, 2016, the children were committed to the care and custody of the Department of Children and Families (department) upon being adjudicated neglected. Shortly thereafter, on August 10, 2016, they were placed with nonrelative foster parents in whose care they have remained.

         In September, 2017, the department changed its plan for the children from reunification with their mother to the termination of parental rights and eventual adoption. On September 27, 2017, after the intervenor had learned of the department’s intentions, he successfully moved to intervene in the case. On December 21, 2017, Monique L. consented to the termination of her parental rights with respect to the children.[1] On January 8, 2018, pursuant to Practice Book § 35a-12A,[2] the intervenor

Page 433

[191 Conn.App. 137] moved to transfer guardianship of the children to himself and Crystal H. Following a four day trial during the period of February to June, 2018, the trial court issued a memorandum of decision denying the motion on the basis that, while the intervenor and his fiancée might be suitable and worthy guardians, the ...


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