Dept. of Human Services v. A.W.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 02-03-2016
  • Case #: A159982
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J. for the Court; DeVore, J.; & Flynn, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

To support the court taking jurisdiction over a child, DHS must present evidence that the child’s condition or circumstances expose the child to a current threat of serious loss or injury that is likely to be realized.

Mother appealed the juvenile court’s judgment asserting jurisdiction over her three year old child, A. DHS conceded that the juvenile court erred in asserting jurisdiction. In 2014, Mother, Father, and A moved in with Grandfather, who helped raise A. While living with Grandfather, Mother and Father would fight in the basement, where A was not allowed to go. Grandfather kicked Father out of the house and filed for a protective order. During the protective order hearing, the court suggested that DHS get involved with the family. DHS visited the family and Mother tested positive for marijuana and meth use; A was then removed from Grandfather’s home. The Court held to justify jurisdiction, DHS needed to present evidence that the child’s condition or circumstances expose the child to a current threat of serious loss or injury that is likely to be realized. Despite Mother’s drug abuse, DHS did not present evidence that Mother used drugs while caring for A or that her drug use had any effect on her parenting. Despite the verbal abuse Mother sustained from father, DHS presented no evidence that A was ever exposed to that conduct. Therefore, DHS failed to present evidence to support jurisdiction. Reversed.

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