Dept. of Human Services v. A. E. R.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 05-18-2016
  • Case #: A160556
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Flynn, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & DeVore, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 419B.476(2)(a), the court will not change the plan from reunification to adoption unless DHS proves that it made reasonable efforts to make it possible for the child to return home safely and the parent has not made a sufficient progress for that to occur. Under ORS 419B.875(2), a parent has a statutory right to participate in the hearing including the right to testify, consult with counsel about strategic evidentiary decisions, and to complete the presentation of the evidence.

Mother and father appeal judgments that changed the permanency plans for their children from reunification to adoption. Under ORS 419B.476(2)(a), the court will not change the plan from reunification to adoption unless DHS proves that it made reasonable efforts to make it possible for the child to return home safely and the parent has not made a sufficient progress for that to occur. Under ORS 419B.875(2), a parent has a statutory right to participate in the hearing including the right to testify, consult with counsel about strategic evidentiary decisions, and to complete the presentation of the evidence. In this case the father was denied the opportunity to participate that was critical to the presentation of evidence which substantially affected his rights. Had the father been allowed to participate he might have been able to persuade the court. Reversed and remanded.

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