Dept. of Human Services v. J. B. V.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 05-14-2014
  • Case #: A155043
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

When DHS seeks to change a ward’s permanency plans, DHS must prove that it made reasonable efforts to effect reunification, and that the parent did not make sufficient progress to allow the child’s safe return home, despite DHS's efforts.

Father appeals two judgments which changed the permanency plan for two of his children from reunifications to adoption, and assigns three errors. Father argued the trial court improperly relied on the exception to the rules of evidence created by ORS 419B.325(2), which allows the admission of a ward’s statements regardless of competency or relevancy, and argued the statute does not apply to a juvenile court’s jurisdictional determination. In response, DHS did not attempt to argue that the exhibits were admissible under the rules of evidence. When DHS seeks to change a ward’s permanency plans, DHS must prove that it made reasonable effects to effect reunification, and that the parent did not make sufficient progress to allow the child’s safe return home. The court agreed with Father, holding that the juvenile court’s admission and consideration of the challenged exhibits was in error. Vacated and remanded for reconsideration of Father’s motion to dismiss; otherwise affirmed.

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