Groves v. Clark
Montana Supreme Court
982 P.2d 446 (1999)
In January 1994, Groves (plaintiff) surrendered custody of her three-year-old daughter, L.C., to Lutheran Social Services, and consented to the child’s adoption by Mr. and Mrs. Clark (defendants). Groves and the Clarks entered into a written visitation agreement allowing Groves to have unrestricted visitation with L.C. upon two days’ notice, unrestricted telephone communications, and the right to take L.C. out of school if Groves needed to travel to Butte, Montana for an emergency. In February 1994, Groves’ parental rights were terminated. In September 1994, L.C.’s adoption by the Clarks was completed. The visitation arrangement worked without complaint until June 1995, when the Clarks refused to allow Groves to take L.C. on extended trips. Groves filed suit against the Clarks for specific performance of the agreement. The District Court denied Groves’ request on the ground that the agreement was void and unenforceable. On appeal, the Supreme Court of Montana reversed on the ground that post-adoption visitation agreements are enforceable where they serve the best interests of the child. The matter was remanded to the District Court for a best-interests analysis. The Clarks argued that, by law, adoptive parents have the right to dictate whether visitation is in the child’s best interests. Groves offered expert evidence to show that L.C. would suffer if Groves were not given appropriate visitation rights. The District Court ruled that visitation was in the best interest of L.C., but it modified the parties’ agreement to give Groves just one weekend per month of unsupervised visitation and one telephone conversation per week. An appeal was taken.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Hunt, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 166,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.