Legal Memorandum: Appellate court standard of review for the finding of parental unfitness

Issue: Under Illinois law, what is the standard of review used by an appeals court when considering a finding of parental unfitness?

Area of Law: Uncategorized
Keywords: ; Parent; Unfit; Standard of Review; Evidence
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 03/01/2016

On review, we determine whether a trial court’s finding of a parent’s unfitness was against the manifest weight of the evidence. In re D.F., 201 Ill.2d 476, 498 (2002). A finding is against the manifest weight of the evidence only if the opposite conclusion is clearly evident or the finding is unreasonable, arbitrary, or not based on the evidence presented. Id. Under this standard of review, a court gives deference to the trial court’s decision because the trial judge is in the best position to observe the conduct and demeanor of the parties and the witnesses, and has a degree of familiarity with the evidence. Id. at 498-99.

In re S.D., No. 3-15-0659, 2016.IL.0000282 (Ill. App. Feb. 10, 2016) (VersusLaw).

Date: March 1, 2016