Massachusetts' highest court, acknowledging evolving definitions of family, ruled that a child born out of wedlock can legally bind two unrelated women: the grandmother raising the child and the girl's biological mother, the Boston Globe reported Saturday.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Friday, in a first-in-the-nation decision, overturned a lower court ruling that denied the grandmother the right to request a restraining order against the child's mother, who attacked the older woman, the newspaper said.
The grandmother, Orrina Turner, said the girl's mother, Denise Lewis, showed up at her door and under the influence of drugs. Lewis shouted for her daughter.
When she determined the girl was not at home, Lewis shouted and pushed Turner into a windowsill. Turner then sought a restraining order. Lewis was later convicted of criminal assault charges.
Civil restraining orders in Massachusetts are designed to protect victims of abuse in families and households. Since the grandmother's son never married the child's mother, lower courts ruled she did not qualify for such an order.