A. F. v. Oregon Dept. of Human Services

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Juvenile Law
  • Date Filed: 08-08-2012
  • Case #: A148861
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Brewer, J.; and Duncan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

DHS rules require the agency to meet the reasonable cause threshold which mandates that the agency demonstrate that a child is subject to a threat of severe harm, abuse, or neglect before the issuance of any allegations.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) appealed a judgment determining that DHS did not prove an actual risk to the child. DHS took guardianship of a child due to neglect by Mother. Mother had allowed the Father, a registered sex offender, to live in her home even though she knew that Father was not allowed to have contact with her children. DHS investigated and found that Father was violating his parole and had a high psychopathy score. DHS removed the child and issued an administrative order for child neglect. Mother petitioned the trial court for a review hearing. In that hearing, the trial court set aside DHS' order and ruled that DHS had failed to show there was an actual risk to the child. After that ruling, DHS petitioned the Court of Appeals arguing that the trial court erred because only reasonable cause, which is analogous to reasonable suspicion, was required to issue the order. The Court agreed and stated the evidence clearly demonstrated there was a risk of abuse or neglect to the child. Reversed.

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