O'Connell v. Kirchner, 513 U.S. 1303 (1995)

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Opinion in Chambers

O'CONNELL, guardian ad litem for BABY BOY RICHARD v. KIRCHNER

on application for stay

No. A-555. Decided January 28, 1995*

Applications by the guardian ad litem for Baby Boy Richard and by his adoptive parents are denied. In seeking to recall the Illinois Supreme Court's mandate and to stay that court's issuance of a writ of habeas corpus directing that Richard's custody be transferred to his natural father, they argue that no writ of habeas corpus ordering a change in custody can be issued absent a full and fair hearing because Richard has a constitutional liberty interest in remaining with his adoptive parents and they have a liberty interest in maintaining their relationship with him. However, this argument cannot succeed. The underlying liberty interests have already been the subject of exhaustive proceedings in the Illinois courts, culminating in the decision that Richard's biological father is entitled to present custody. The habeas corpus proceeding from which the adoptive parents now seek relief adjudicated no new substantive rights, but merely enforced the mandate of the prior decision. Accordingly, applicants have received all the process due them under federal law.

Justice Stevens, Circuit Justice.

The guardian ad litem for Baby Boy Richard and his adoptive parents have filed with me in my capacity as Circuit Justice for the Seventh Circuit applications to recall the mandate of the Illinois Supreme Court and to stay that court's issuance of a writ of habeas corpus directing that custody of Baby Boy Richard be transferred to his natural father. The decision implements an earlier judgment entered by the Illinois Supreme Court, see In re Petition of Doe, 159 Ill. 2d 347, 638 N. E. 2d 181 (1994); two months ago, this Court denied a petition for certiorari seeking review of that judgment, ante, p. 994.

*Together with No. A-558, Doe et al. v. Kirchner, also on application for stay.


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