Dept. of Human Services v. M.P.P.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Juvenile Law
  • Date Filed: 07-22-2015
  • Case #: A158219
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Flynn, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Termination of parental rights requires clear and convincing evidence that it is warranted by both the conduct of the parent and the best interests of the child.

Mother appealed a judgment terminating her parental rights to a child, J. Shortly before trial, the State moved J. to relative foster care but did not have enough time to assess whether that could be a viable permanent placement and went ahead with termination proceedings. At trial, a report by J.'s psychologist and testimony by J.'s caseworker were submitted attesting to J.'s strong attachment to Mother and how important she was to him. Mother's unfitness did not include any abuse and the relationship between J. and Mother was positive and nurturing. On appeal, Mother argued, and the Court agreed, that although the State had met its burden regarding her conduct, the State failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that termination of her parental rights was in the best interest of J. The Court held that the State erred in failing to make that showing, and that an arrangement accommodating a continuing relationship between J. and Mother would be in the best interest of J. Reversed.

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