Wednesday, July 26, 2006

adoption - standing of aunt/uncle - agency consent to standing

In re Adoption of J.E.F. - Pennsylvania Supreme Court - July 18, 2006

majority -
concurring -

Aunt and uncle of three children in the legal custody of a child welfare agency have standing to petition for adoption, despite agency's preference for other adoptive parents (foster parents) and the agency's refusal to consent to aunt/uncle's participation. The Adoption Act does not give agencies any "gatekeeping authority" over adoption petitions. It is the court rather than an agency or other entity which has the ultimate responsibility to determine what will be in the best interests of the adoptees.

termination of parental rights - change in permanency plan

In re Adoption of S.E.G. - Pa. Supreme Court - July 18, 2006

majority -

Child welfare agency brought petition to termination parental rights without having formally its permanency plan from reunification to adoption. Held, such a formal change in plan is not a condition precedent to an agency bring a petition to terminate parental rights.

contracts - unjust enrichment

Cooper v. East Penn School District - Commonwealth Court - July 26, 2006

"Unjust enrichment is an equitable doctrine implying that a contract exists when a party is found to have unfairly benefited by another's actions....However, unjust enrichment is inapplicable where the parties' relaltionship is founded upon a written agreement, regardless of how 'harsh the provisions of such contracfts may seem in light of the subsequent happenings.'"