Dept. of Human Services v. A.F.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Juvenile Law
  • Date Filed: 12-31-2014
  • Case #: A156851
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

In a juvenile court jurisdictional hearing, the conditions and circumstances that give rise to jurisdiction over the children must exist at the time of the hearing.

Father appealed a judgment establishing jurisdiction over his children. In September 2013, father was convicted of multiple counts of sexual abuse. In January 2014, DHS filed an amended petition where Mother stipulated to several facts. Father did not stipulate; he contested jurisdiction. The jurisdictional hearing took place in April 2014. The juvenile court held that the children being within the jurisdiction “as to mother” was not challenged by any party. Father argued that Mother had ameliorated the conditions and circumstances identified in the stipulations by the time of the hearing. DHS argued that the stipulations did not have to be made at the hearing because the court had already established jurisdiction of the children “as to mother”; and alternatively, the judgment of jurisdiction incorporated Mother’s stipulations and therefore the findings were made at the time of the hearing. The Court noted that the conditions and circumstances giving rise to jurisdiction must exist at the time of the hearing, but here were in fact contradicted by evidence presented at the hearing. It found that a court must make findings regarding contested allegations about both parents before the court may take jurisdiction over the children, and the court thus could not have taken jurisdiction over the children prior to the jurisdictional hearing on the contested allegations. The court held that the juvenile court erred in finding that no party had challenged mother’s allegations. It remanded for determination of whether there is a basis for jurisdiction. Vacated and remanded.

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