Dept. of Human Services v. I.S.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Juvenile Law
  • Date Filed: 03-26-2014
  • Case #: A155214 (Control); A155215
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Nakamoto, J. for the court; Armstrong, P.J.; Egan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 419B.100(1)(c), juvenile dependency jurisdiction is proper when "condition or circumstances are such as to endanger the welfare" of the child. If a court does not find that a parent has exposed children to reasonable likelihood of harm, then the conditions of jurisdiction have not been met.

Father appeals a juvenile court judgment, finding jurisdiction over his two children, on the basis that he did nothing to assert legal custody, despite being aware that the children’s mother could not safely parent. Father contends that the Department of Human Services (DHS) must prove his lack of a custody order exposed his children to risk of serious loss or injury. The court held that Father’s lack of a custody order could not support jurisdiction, unless DHS demonstrated that the lack of custody order exposed the children to a reasonable likelihood of harm. The court found that DHS failed to demonstrate that Father’s lack of a custody order would have prevented him from protecting the children from their mother, who had a history of substance abuse. DHS also failed to demonstrate that Father, because he had not understood the importance of a custody order, exposed his children to a reasonable likelihood of harm. Reversed.

Advanced Search