Dept. of Human Services v. N.P.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Juvenile Law
  • Date Filed: 07-24-2013
  • Case #: A151549
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Schuman, J. for the Court; En Banc.
  • Full Text Opinion

When reviewing a juvenile court's decision under ORS 419B.100(1)(c), the court: (1) assumes the juvenile court's findings of historical fact are correct if there is any evidence in the record to support them; (2) assumes that, if the juvenile court is silent on an issue of material fact, the issue is resolved in a manner consistent with the juvenile court's decision; (3) combines (1) and (2) along with non-speculative inferences to determine if ORS 419B.100(1)(c) was satisfied.

Department of Human Services (DHS) petitioned for clarification of the trial court's decision to either terminate both wardship and jurisdiction, or only dismiss jurisdiction, over N.P.'s child. N.P. was found by the juvenile court to have a substance abuse problem. After this decision, N.P. completed drug and alcohol abuse counseling treatment. N.P. filed a motion to terminate wardship and dismiss jurisdiction. DHS filed an amended dependency petition which claimed N.P. still had mental health and anger issues that endangered his child. The petition made no mention of substance abuse problems. The juvenile court found that N.P. did not have substance abuse or mental health problems, but that DHS still had jurisdiction over the child because of his risk of relapse. On appeal, the Court held the juvenile court could not base its decision on facts that have ceased to exist or are not supported by evidence. N.P.'s drug addiction had ceased to exist and there was no evidence he had relapsed. The trial court's decision was reversed and remanded. DHS filed a petition for reconsideration. Both N.P. and DHS needed clarification of issues including the standard applied to review of juvenile court decisions. The Court held it views the evidence in a light most favorable to the trial court's disposition and assesses whether the evidence was sufficient to produce that outcome. Reconsideration allowed; former opinion adhered to as clarified.

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