Dept. of Human Services v. D.H.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 03-18-2015
  • Case #: A157877
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Flynn, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Evidence is insufficient to support a grant of jurisdiction to the juvenile court when there is no evidence that a child has been harmed, or was at risk of harm.

Mother appealed a dependency judgment asserting jurisdiction over her son, J. Mother argued the Department of Human Services (DHS) failed to establish sufficient facts to reach the conclusion that her conduct posed a significant risk of injury or harm to J. The juvenile court, in making its determination in favor of DHS, relied on three bases: that Mother’s husband was an untreated sex offender subject to a no-contact-with-minors condition to his release from prison, that Mother has mental health issues, and that Mother’s response to J’s removal was an attempted suicide. The Court held that evidence presented was insufficient to draw the conclusion that J’s conditions and circumstances at the time of the hearing presented a risk of harm. There was no evidence that Mother’s husband had ever harmed J, or any other child, nor was there any evidence that Mother’s mental health had ever harmed or risked harming J. Accordingly, the juvenile court’s assertion of jurisdiction over J was erroneous. Reversed.

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