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Karen Wyle

Karen Wyle

Handling Your Appeals Throughout Indiana
  • Appeals & Appellate
  • Indiana
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I am an appellate attorney with over 36 years' experience. I graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1980. I primarily practice in the Indiana Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court, but am a member of the Ninth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court bars. I am also an inactive member of the California bar. I am located near Bloomington in Monroe County, Indiana, but handle appeals throughout Indiana. I have also appeared pro hac vice in various other states. I handle both civil and criminal appeals, although the bulk of my practice involves civil appeals. Those appeals may involve contracts, torts, family law, real estate disputes, municipal liability, etc. Since writing an amicus brief in the case of Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), I have become well acquainted with the constitutional, statutory and public policy issues raised by grandparent visitation disputes.

Practice Area
    Appeals & Appellate
    Civil Appeals, Federal Appeals
Additional Practice Area
  • Grandparent Visitation Disputes
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    I generally offer clients a choice of an hourly rate or a flat fee. Flat fees are determined after an initial free consultation, with $5,000.00 as the most frequent flat fee for a civil appeal.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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Harvard Law School
Honors: Graduated cum laude
Activities: International Law Society Practice judge, Jessup Moot Court Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Law Review Women's Law Association
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Third Place, Harrison Legal Writing Award
Indiana State Bar Association
Professional Associations
Indiana State Bar
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Indiana State Bar Association
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Monroe County Bar Association
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Articles & Publications
Fundamental versus Deferential: Appellate Review of Terminations of Parental Rights
Indiana Law Journal Supplement
Websites & Blogs
Professional site
Legal Answers
2 Questions Answered
Q. Does a grandparent have any legal rights when it comes to visitation with grandchildren?
A: Major caveat: I am not licensed to practice in Ohio. You should consult at least one Ohio family law attorney. Grandparents have the ability to go to court and seek grandparent visitation in some circumstances, which may include yours. However, at least theoretically, the court is required, as a matter of U.S. constitutional law acknowledged by the Ohio Supreme Court, to start out by presuming that a fit custodial parent's (your) decision to limit or deny grandparent visitation is in the child's best interests. It is up to the petitioning grandparent to rebut (disprove) this presumption. The court must give "special weight" to the parent's views. Exactly what is required to rebut the presumption, and what "special weight" means in any case, is more complicated.
Q. Is there a such thing as grandparents rights in TN? If so are they possible to gain if the father isn't on the BC?
A: First, let me make clear that I am NOT admitted to practice in Tennessee -- and I strongly recommend that you consult not the Internet, but a Tennessee family law attorney, in person, if at all feasible. That said, it's my understanding that Tennessee does allow grandparents to sue for visitation in some circumstances. A recent Tennessee case indicates that the statute governing the matter is T.C.A. § 36-6-306. Key statutory language includes the following (can't paste it all due to space limitations): The grandparent gets a hearing if . . . (2) The child's father or mother are divorced, legally separated, or were never married to each other; . . . (5) The child resided in the home of the grandparent for a period of twelve (12) months or more and was subsequently removed from the home by the parent or parents (this grandparent-grandchild relationship establishes a rebuttable presumption that denial of visitation may result in irreparable harm to the child); or (6) The child and the grandparent maintained a significant existing relationship for a period of twelve (12) months or more immediately preceding severance of the relationship, this relationship was severed by the parent or parents for reasons other than abuse or presence of a danger of substantial harm to the child, and severance of this relationship is likely to occasion substantial emotional harm to the child. (b) (1) In considering a petition for grandparent visitation, the court shall first determine the presence of a danger of substantial harm to the child. Such finding of substantial harm may be based upon cessation of the relationship between an unmarried minor child and the child's grandparent if the court determines, upon proper proof, that: (A) The child had such a significant existing relationship with the grandparent that loss of the relationship is likely to occasion severe emotional harm to the child; (B) The grandparent functioned as a primary caregiver such that cessation of the relationship could interrupt provision of the daily needs of the child and thus occasion physical or emotional harm; or (C) The child had a significant existing relationship with the grandparent and loss of the relationship presents the danger of other direct and substantial harm to the child. (2) For purposes of this section, a grandparent shall be deemed to have a significant existing relationship with a grandchild if: (A) The child resided with the grandparent for at least six (6) consecutive months; (B) The grandparent was a full-time caretaker of the child for a period of not less than six (6) consecutive months; or (C) The grandparent had frequent visitation with the child who is the subject of the suit for a period of not less than one (1) year. The GP needn't present expert testimony. Previous full-time caretaker status or frequent previous visitation increase the GP's chances. If this goes to court, you really, really should have a lawyer if humanly possible.
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Bloomington, IN, USA
Telephone: (812) 650-1035
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