In re Michael C.
Supreme Court of Rhode Island
557 A.2d 1219 (1989)
The Rhode Island Department of Children and Their Families (DCF) (plaintiff) filed a petition in family court against the parents of 13-year-old Michael C., alleging that his adopted father, John, had sexually abused Michael. Michael’s mother denied that the conduct had occurred. At a custody hearing, Michael’s mother testified that she did not believe Michael when he told her what John had done. During his testimony, John denied sexually abusing Michael but admitted that he would kill or injure Michael if Michael became violent with his mother for not believing the allegation of sexual abuse. When it was time for Michael to testify, Michael’s guardian ad litem informed the trial judge that Michael was experiencing a great deal of anxiety about testifying in open court. The trial judge decided to question Michael in camera without the other parties present. The judge then requested that the parties submit written questions for the judge to ask Michael in camera. At the conclusion of testimony and evidence, the trial court found that Michael had been sexually abused by John and neglected by both parents. The court granted DCF temporary custody of Michael and restrained John from having any contact with Michael. Michael’s parents appealed, arguing that they had the constitutional right to confront Michael in open court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kelleher, 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 724,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead 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.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 724,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 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.