Court Rules For Octo-Mom Nadya Suleman In Guardian Case

Jan. 9 2010, Published 4:59 a.m. ET

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Self-appointed Hollywood child advocate Paul Petersen did not present a winning argument that Nadya Suleman's kids need a guardian to protect their finances.

Read Court Documents Here

That's what a California Court of Appeals judge ruled Friday, over-ruling a lower court's decision to let the case proceed, and blasting Petersen and his legal team for presenting the case the way they did.

Case Against Octo-Mom Goes Forward

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"This is an unprecedented, meritless effort by a stranger to a family to seek appointment of a guardian of the estates of the minor children," the court said.  "The petition's allegations are insufficient to infringe on a parent's civil rights or to rebut the presumption under California law that a parent is competent to manage the finances of his or her children."

The court also criticized the way Petersen's claim against Nadya had been made.  "Petersen has never met and never had any contact with Suleman, her children, or any member of her family.  All the information presented in the petition for appointment of a guardian has come from television or the Internet.  Petersen has provided no documentary evidence (much less admissible evidence) that raises a reasonable inference or wrongdoing."

But Gloria Allred does not see it as a total victory for Octo-Mom and may refile the case.  She told that their side won an important legal point.

"The Court of Appeals found in our favor (and contrary to Nadya Suleman's contentions) that any person, even a person not related to children, i.e. Paul Petersen, would have standing to file a petition for guardianship over the estate of minors. The Court stated that this is a case of first impression and that there have been no other published cases in California on this issue. We are very happy that the Court of Appeals agreed with us on this point and applied the new test which we proposed for determining who has the right to file a petition with the Court to have a guardian appointed to protect the financial estates of children in the future. The Court, however, found that more direct evidence needs to be alleged upon the filing of a petition before a court can consider if a guardian should be appointed and found that Mr. Petersen had not alleged sufficient specific evidence of financial mismanagement for the case to go forward. Our client will now consider his legal options, including if he will file with the California Supreme Court."

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In a statement to us, Petersen himself said: "I am very happy that as a result of my case the Court of Appeals for the first time in the legal history of California has ruled that a person who is not a relative of minors and who has never met them may still file a petition in the California courts seeking to protect the minors' financial interests if sufficient facts are alleged. This will help protect children in the future."

Nadya's children will celebrate their first birthday later this month. The fertility doctor who helped her conceive the eight babies may have his medical license revoked.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Octo-Mom Defends Her Doctor



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