MCL 712a.19b(5) Interpretation

In In re Trejo Minors, 462 Mich 341, 354; 603 NW2d 787 (2000), the Supreme Court of Michigan held that MCL 712A.19b(5); MSA 27.3178(598.19b)(5), the statutory best interest provision, does not expressly assign any party the burden of producing best interest evidence and rejected this Court's characterization of 19b(5) in In re Hall-Smith, 222 Mich App 470, 472; 564 NW2d 156 (1997), as imposing a burden of production on the party opposing termination. The Supreme Court also held that 19b(5) does not impose any further burden of proof on the petitioner once the petitioner has carried its burden of establishing one or more statutory grounds for termination, and that the trial court may consider evidence introduced by any party when determining whether termination is clearly not in a child's best interests. Id., slip op at 11-14.