Visitation; due process rights of a parent

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"[A Washington statute allows] '[a]ny person' to petition a superior court for visitation rights 'at any time,' and authorizes that court to grant such visitation rights whenever 'visitation may serve the best interest of the child.'  Petitioners Jenifer and Gary Troxel petitioned a Washington Superior Court for the right to visit their grandchildren, Isabelle and Natalie Troxel.  Respondent Tommie Granville, the mother of Isabelle and Natalie, opposed the petition."

"Granville did not oppose visitation altogether, but instead asked the court to order one day of visitation per month with no overnight stay.  In 1995, the Superior Court issued an oral ruling and entered a visitation decree ordering visitation one weekend per month, one week during the summer, and four hours on both of the petitioning grandparents' birthdays."

"[I]t is apparent that the entry of the visitation order in this case violated the Constitution.  We should say so now, without forcing the parties into additional litigation that would further burden Granville's parental right.  We therefore hold that the application of [the Washington statute] to Granville and her family violated her due process right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of her daughters."