From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
< BACK TO ARCHIVE

Date:
From:
Subject:

1/22/2007 5:16:41 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Washington--Bills Allow Court to Order Grandparent Visitation

======================================================================
From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
======================================================================


January 22, 2007

Washington--Bills Allow Court to Order Grandparent Visitation

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

There are two bills in the Washington legislature that would permit
grandparents to petition the court for visitation rights against the
wishes of parents. House Bill 1108 and Senate Bill 5071 would permit a
grandparent to ask the court to order visitation even when the family
is intact and the parents believe it to be in the best interest of
their children to limit their contact with their grandparents.

These bills should be strongly opposed as an attack on parental
rights. Instead of presuming that fit parents make decisions in the
best interest of their children, these bills would only require the
court to give "deference" to the decisions of fit parents while
examining whether their decision was reasonable.

A hearing is scheduled for House Bill 1108 in the Judiciary Committee
on Wednesday, January 24.

Some of you may remember that these same bills were introduced last
year, but with your calls they were defeated. We need your calls once
again. Please contact the legislators listed below and urge them to
defeat these bills.

ACTION REQUESTED:

1) Please call and email the House Judiciary Committee members listed
below and give them this message in your own words:

"Please oppose House Bill 1108. This bill violates a parent's
fundamental right to direct the care, custody, and control of their
children. A fit parent should always be presumed to be making
decisions in the best interest of their children and this bill does
not.

Additionally, this bill will allow courts to determine visitation in
an intact family, jeopardizing family integrity. Please ensure that
House Bill 1108 is defeated."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler; instead you can identify
yourself as a concerned parent and taxpayer.

House Judiciary Committee Members

Rep. Patricia Lantz - Chair (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7964
lantz.patricia@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Roger Goodman - Vice Chair (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7878
goodman.roger@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Jay Rodne (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7852
rodne.jay@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Judy Warnick (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7932
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/memberemail/MailForm.aspx?Chamber=H&District=13
&Position=1

Rep. John Ahern (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7962
ahern.john@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Dennis Flannigan (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7930
flannigan.dennis@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Steve Kirby (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7996
kirby.steve@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Jim Moeller (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7872
moeller.jim@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7826
pedersen.jamie@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Charles Ross (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7856
ross.charles@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Brendan Williams (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7940
williams.brendan@leg.wa.gov

2) Please call and email your state senator and give them this message

in your own words:

"Please oppose Senate Bill 5071. This bill violates basic parents'
rights concerning their children. A fit parent should always be
presumed to be making decisions in the best interest of their
children. This bill does not.

Additionally, this bill will allow courts to determine visitation in
an intact family, jeopardizing family integrity. Please ensure that
Senate Bill 5071 is defeated."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler; instead you can identify
yourself as a concerned parent and taxpayer.

To find contact information for your state senator please go to
HSLDA's legislative toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox and enter
your ZIP code.

BACKGROUND:

Over the years, HSLDA has represented member families in conflict with
grandparents who did not like homeschooling. These grandparents would
try to stop the homeschooling through various means, including turning
the family over to child welfare services. Thankfully, most
grandparents we come in contact with at HSLDA support homeschooling
and in some situations even participate in the teaching.

However, H.B. 1108 and S.B. 5071 would give grandparents the right to
sue parents for visitation. If this bill becomes law, they could
petition the court for visitation rights when both parents are
together and not only when there is a pending dissolution, legal
separation, or modification of a parenting plan proceeding.

Of course, if a grandparent brings a suit under this act, the court
may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child and order
family mediation and a psychological evaluation of the child. Under
these bills the court only needs to give "deference" to the decisions
of fit parents all the while deciding whether the parents' decision to
limit contact with the grandparents is "reasonable."

On the surface these bills appear to protect parents' rights. However,
a grandparent is only required to demonstrate that he or she had a
"significant relationship" with the child that was allowed to be
formed and established by the parent, that the parent substantially
interfered with the grandparent's relationship, and the child would
likely suffer harm or substantial risk of harm if contact between the
grandparent is not awarded. Once a grandparent demonstrates this, the
burden shifts to the parent to "prove why their decision to deny
visitation is reasonable and in the best interest of the child." This
places the court in the position of deciding whether the parent was
justified in limiting contact with the grandparents.

If you are not yet a member of HSLDA and would like to help us fight
for greater homeschool freedom in Washington please visit
http://www.hslda.org/join/apply.asp . Join or renew for two years and
you get the Drive Thru History- America DVD and curriculum free, a $50
value.

If you would like to be put on our free email list to receive vital
e-lerts you may sign up at
https://secure.hslda.org/hslda/elert/account.asp?Process=Subscribe .

Thank you for your part in fighting for freedom in Washington.

Sincerely,

Thomas Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

----------------------------------------------------------------------
-> Will your friends stand by you in trouble?

They will if you're an HSLDA member and your homeschool is
threatened. HSLDA is ready to stand by your side along with
80,000 other homeschool families.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1105

----------------------------------------------------------------------
======================================================================
The HSLDA E-lert Service is a service of:

Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733
Email: info@hslda.org
Web: http://www.hslda.org

----------------------------------------------------------------------
How To Subscribe:

- Subscribe to the HSLDA E-lert Service at our website:

https://secure.hslda.org/hslda/elert/account.asp?Process=Subscribe

- Or send an email with name and complete mailing address to:

subscribe@hslda.org

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Subscription Information:

- You subscribed to the HSLDA E-lert Service as:

##ToAddress##

- To unsubscribe from the HSLDA E-lert Service send an email from
the email address you want to unsubscribe to:

unsubscribe@hslda.org

- To change your email address or make other changes to your
subscription, visit the HSLDA E-lert Service account web page at:

https://secure.hslda.org/hslda/elert/account.asp

----------------------------------------------------------------------
POSTMASTERS: This message is being sent to the most recent address we
have for our subscribers. If this is an invalid email address or you
have other problems, please reply to webmaster@hslda.org.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: This is considered a private and confidential message
from HSLDA to its bonafide HSLDA E-lert Service subscribers.
HSLDA cannot attest to the authenticity of copies posted, forwarded,
or sent by any party other than HSLDA.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTE: Please do not reply or otherwise use this email address;
hslda@hslda.org is for broadcast purposes only and is not intended to
receive incoming messages. We cannot reply to any email sent to this
address. If you have comments or questions, please send email to
info@hslda.org or call HSLDA at 540-338-5600. HSLDA members can also
email staff directly through the Members website at
http://members.hslda.org/contact.asp. Thank you for your cooperation.
======================================================================