LILLIAN JANE DiAMICO v. ROBERT ELLINWOOD, III • Oregon Court of Appeals
(appeal from the trial court’s order denying a seven-year-old girl’s efforts to establish her paternity)
In this most sensitive appellate case, a small girl sought to establish her paternity. For procedural reasons, the Circuit Court (trial court) denied seven-year-old Lillian’s effort to establish her paternity against Mr. Ellinwood. Legal briefing was completed, and the case was argued to the Oregon Court of Appeals on December 5, 2005, in Salem, Oregon. One year and one week later, on December 13, 2006, the Court of Appeals handed down a compelling 3-0 decision reversing the trial court.
Mr. Ellinwood’s subsequent petition to the Oregon Supreme Court seeking review was denied and the case was returned to the Circuit Court for further proceedings consistent with Lillian’s petition to establish her paternity. The eventual paternity test was positive.
This case is an important victory for children throughout Oregon because it preserves the statutory process intended by the Legislative Assembly to establish paternity against the types of defenses raised by Mr. Ellinwood in the trial court. It is a more important case for Lillian because it allowed her to establish her paternity.