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Garska v. McCoy

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
278 S.E.2d 357 (W. Va. 1981)


Gwendolyn McCoy (defendant) and Michael Garska (plaintiff) were not married and did not live together, but had a child named Jonathan. McCoy raised Jonathan alone; Garska was not involved in raising Jonathan. Jonathan became sick and needed serious medical attention that McCoy could not afford. McCoy’s grandfather, Stergil Alitzer, had good medical insurance, but could not add Jonathan to his insurance unless Alitzer adopted Jonathan. To effectuate this, McCoy signed a consent form to allow Alitzer to adopt Jonathan. Alitzer filed a petition for adoption in the Circuit Court of Logan County. Garska filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus to obtain custody of Jonathan. The circuit court did not find that McCoy was unfit, but awarded custody of Jonathan to Garska based on Garska’s superior intelligence and wealth, as reflected in the record. McCoy appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Neely, J.)

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