Dept. of Human Services v. M.H.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Juvenile Law
  • Date Filed: 10-15-2014
  • Case #: A156135
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J., for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 419B.500 and ORS 419.498(3), a termination of parental rights petition will be based upon the most recent permanency plan determination since it is based on the current circumstances of the child.

Department of Human Services (DHS) appealed a judgment setting aside judgments that terminated the parental rights of child A's natural parents. The juvenile court took jurisdiction over A in September 2010. In July 2011, the court changed A's permanency plan from family reunification to adoption, and DHS proceeded to file a petition to terminate parental rights (TPR) in August 2011. In August 2012, the annual hearing regarding A's permanency plan was held, continuing the adoption plan. The parents appealed the judgment continuing the adoption plan. While the appeal was pending, the TPR trial occurred resulting in termination of parental rights. Five months after the TPR judgment, the appeal regarding the continuation of the adoption plan was decided and reversed. Both parents then moved for the TPR judgments to be set aside. The juvenile court set aside the TPR judgments based on this Court's indication that one “can't proceed with a termination case when [one has] an invalid permanency judgment.” The Court rejected the DHS argument that the court could base its findings on the initial permanency plan judgment. The statute reads that the permanency plan is contingent to the circumstances surrounding the child at the time of the permanency plan hearing. Affirmed.

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