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Santosky v. Kramer - Significance, Further Readings

petitioners justices fair decision


John and Annie Santosky


Kramer, Commissioner of Dept. Social Services, Ulster County

Petitioners' Claim

Fair preponderance of evidence is unconstitutional when used to terminate parental rights.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioners

Martin Guggenheim

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Steven D. Scavuzzo

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun (writing for the Court), William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., John Paul Stevens

Justices Dissenting

Warren E. Burger, Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist, Byron R. White


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

24 March 1982


Fair preponderance violates due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Related Cases

  • Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923).
  • Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925).
  • In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358 (1970).
  • Moore v. East Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494 (1977).
Schall v. Martin - Significance, Juvenile System Of Justice, Is Teenage Preventive Detention Legal?, Impact, Curfews For Juveniles [next] [back] Saint Francis College v. Al-Khazraji - The Facts Of The Case, The Lower Courts Rule, The Supreme Court Affirms

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over 8 years ago

So they lemme get this straight, they took two kids, and Anne then gave birth to the other kids. 3 total kids now, and the courts are taking them away?... Anyone else find this unjust?

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almost 7 years ago

my wife and are going through this nightmear as i am writing this. we had our seccond baby a year and two mos ago and have not been allowed to be a family ever since now the trial to remove our parental rights is a week out the gal and attournie generals asst. our 4th dcfs case worker and judge have all made statments of fanality and written us off. we are not giving up our parental rights ever our court appointed attournies my wifes 5th my 1st advised us to give up there is a 100percent chance we will loose. mine said im not bringing up constitutional issues .she also told my wife to tell me to sign away rights at the time there was a no contact order between us and the judge and attournie generals asst heard this and said nothing.my wife and i are still together mentally drained and heart broken depressed and starting to loose everything we need help and support were scraping by need good attournies but cant afford to pay attention. we need an angle if god didnt want us to have our babies he wouldnt have blessed us with them. contact me if u want and help if you can thank you.