Sjomeling v. Lasser

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Appellate Procedure
  • Date Filed: 07-11-2012
  • Case #: A143871
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Haselton, C.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 19.415(3), unless the Court of Appeals uses its discretion in reviewing an equitable matter de novo, the standard of review for a trial court's determination regarding the best interests of a child is abuse of discretion.

Father appealed a trial court's modification of a parenting plan allowing Mother to move from Oregon to Utah with their two children. The trial court determined that it would be in the best interests of the children to move to Utah because Mother would have a stable job and the children would be close to their grandparents. Father argued that the trial court's determinations were erroneous. ORS 19.415(3) provides that it is within the discretion of the Court of Appeals whether to review equitable cases de novo. When the Court does not exercise this discretion, the standard of review is abuse of discretion. The Court of Appeals held that the trial court correctly considered the factors in ORS 107.137(1) in judging the best interests of the children and weighed the costs and benefits of the move. Therefore, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in modifying the parenting plan to allow Mother to move the children from Oregon to Utah. Affirmed.

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