Entertainment & Sports Law
Former Child Actor, Repped by Allred, Has Standing to Sue ‘Octomom,’ Judge Rules
Posted Aug 21, 2009 5:07 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
A former child actor who now works as an advocate for other children in the entertainment industry can proceed with a lawsuit seeking a guardian to protect the children of Nadya Suleman, aka the "Octomom," a California judge ruled today as he denied Suleman's motion to dismiss.
Attorney Jeff Czech, who represents Suleman, had argued that Paul Peterson of A Minor Consideration, lacked standing to petition for the appointment of a guardian to look after the financial interests of her octuplets. But Orange County Superior Court Judge Gerald Johnston ruled that no relationship to the children is required under state law, reports the City News Service.
"As the paramount concern in guardianships is the best interests of children, the legislature has not restricted the class of individuals who may petition seeking to protect those interests," the judge writes in his opinion. He directs the state Department of Social Service to look into the situation and report back to the court by the end of October with a recommendation concerning the petitioned-for guardianship.
Late last month, Johnson appointed a guardian ad litem for the octuplets. But his decision was overruled by an appeals court, which said there wasn't enough evidence that a guardian was needed, recounts an Orange County Register article about the judge's ruling today.
Peterson, who is represented by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, was a Disney Mousketeer and appeared in The Donna Reed Show, which ran on television from 1958 to 1966.
The 34-year-old Suleman made international headlines when her eight babies survived, and she has reportedly pursued entertainment industry contracts on their behalf.
ABAJournal.com: "Gloria Allred Sues ‘Octomom,’ Alleges Possible Child Labor Violations"