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Lawskills.com Georgia Caselaw
FOWLER v. KNEBEL et al.
S95A1700.
HINES, Justice.
Domestic relations. Clayton Superior Court. Before Judge Simmons.
We granted this discretionary appeal to consider the constitutionality of Georgia's "Grandparent Visitation Statute," OCGA 19-7-3. However, after granting the appeal, this Court decided the issue in a case already pending before us. Brooks v. Parkerson, 265 Ga. 189 (454 SE2d 769) (1995). In Brooks, we determined that "[t]he statute . . . is unconstitutional under both the state and federal constitutions because it does not clearly promote the health or welfare of the child and does not require a showing of harm before state interference is authorized." Id. at 194. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court's order granting grandparent visitation rights based on OCGA 19-7-3, and remand this case to the trial court for disposition in accord with our holding in Brooks.
BENHAM, Chief Justice, dissenting.
For the reasons outlined in my dissent in Brooks v. Parkerson, 265 Ga. 189 (454 SE2d 769) (1995), I respectfully dissent from the majority's determination that the trial court erred when it authorized four weekend visits per year between the paternal grandparents and the child. I am authorized to state that Justice Hunstein joins in this dissent.
Michael J. Bowers, Attorney General, Almond & Ruffin, J. V. Dell, Jr., for appellees.
John B. Cloy, William W. West, for appellant.
DECIDED MARCH 4, 1996.
Thursday May 21 05:33 EDT


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