March 27, 2014 South Carolina Supreme Court published opinion

South Carolina Department of Social Services v Michelle G.

Michelle G’s parental rights were terminated under South Carolina Code 63-7-2570(1) based on numerous acts of sexual abuse of her older children. She challenged the termination arguing the term “severe” in the statute was unconstitutionally vague. The Court, with one justice concurring in result, affirmed. It held that Michelle G lacked standing to raise the vagueness challenge as, under any reasonable definition, engaging in sex with her children was severe abuse and, alternatively, the multiple occurrences independently satisfied the frequent abuse prong of the statute.

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