Dept. of Human Services v. M.E.M.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Juvenile Law
  • Date Filed: 06-17-2015
  • Case #: A158395
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: PER CURIAM; Sercombe, P.J.; Hadlock, J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A trial court errs by entering a default judgment against a mother in a juvenile dependency case when that mother fails to appear in person at the dependency hearing but appears over the phone.

Mother appealed the trial court's default judgment taking jurisdiction over Mother's child, M. The trial court took jurisdiction over M because mother did not show up to the dependency hearing in person. Mother had appeared telephonically, and Mother's attorney had appeared in person at the hearing. Mother had also appeared at several prior hearings with regarad to the same case. On appeal, Mother argued that the trial court erred by using the default judgment as a punitive measure. DHS conceded that the judge erred by entering a default judgment for Mother's failure to appear in person. The Court agreed. Reversed and remanded.

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