Dept. of Human Services v. C.A.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Juvenile Law
  • Date Filed: 07-22-2015
  • Case #: A158459
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: PER CURIAM; Duncan, P.J.; Lagesen, J.; & Flynn, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Evidence of substance abuse by a parent, and that parent's lack of sole custody, are not sufficient to prove that a child's circumstances and conditions present a non-speculative risk to the child's safety.

Father appeals a judgment by the juvenile court asserting jurisdiction over Child. It is not disputed that mother's neglectful behavior presented a risk to Child. The juvenile court based its finding on evidence tending to show Father's substance abuse and lack of sole custody over Child. The juvenile court determined that this was sufficient evidence to assert jurisdiction over Child because evidence tended to show Father's inability to protect from mother. On review, the Court disagreed. In order for a juvenile court to assert jurisdiction over a child, evidence must show that, at the time of the dependency hearing, the parent in question provided conditions and circumstances that presented a current risk of non-speculative harm to the child. Neither lack of a custody order nor evidence of substance abuse, alone or combined, are sufficient to create a present non-speculative risk to the child. Reversed.

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