Dept. of Human Services v. K. M. J.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 07-22-2015
  • Case #: A158098
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: De Muniz, S.J. for the Court; Lagesen, P.J.; & Flynn, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 419B.923(1)(b), the concept of excusable neglect encompasses 'a parent’s reasonable, good faith mistake as to the time or place of a dependency proceeding.'

Mother failed to appear in court for her termination of parental rights hearing. Mother filed a motion to set aside the judgment. The trial court denied the motion and she appealed. Under ORS 419B.923(1)(b), a parent failing to appear at a termination hearing can move to modify or set aside the judgment based on "excusable neglect." This claim is address by the Court in a two step process: (1) the Court determines "whether the parent has established as a matter of law that the nonappearance at the termination hearing resulted from excusable neglect" and (2) the court has discretion to determine whether to allow the motion. The mother failed to make a showing of excusable neglect under ORS 419B.923(1)(b). Affirmed.

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