Dept. of Human Services v. H. F. E.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 11-01-2017
  • Case #: A164474
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Garrett, J.; & Powers, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

“To be ‘plain’ the error must (1) be an error of law; (2) be obvious, meaning that the legal point is not reasonable in dispute; and (3) appear on the record.” ORAP 5.45(1); State v. Vanornum, 354 OR 614, 629, 317 P3d 889 (2013).

Petitioners, Mother and Child, appealed a judgment of the juvenile court that denied mother’s request for custody and continued the placement of the child in Oregon Youth Authority, (OYA). Petitioners proffered three assignments of error: first, that the juvenile court’s judgment constituted a plain error as it failed to "make findings in the judgment that were required by ORS 419B.449(3)," and in the second and third assignments of error, Petitioners contended that the court's judgment wasn't supported by sufficient evidence. On appeal, Petitioners argued that the court's decision was a plain error because the continuance decision was "the unsworn testimony of "the mother and the parties’ attorneys." In response, Department of Human Services (DHS), argued that it was not obvious that the hearing in question was a hearing under ORS 419B.449, and that the court’s decision was supported by sufficient information. “To be ‘plain’ the error must (1) be an error of law; (2) be obvious, meaning that the legal point is not reasonable in dispute; and (3) appear on the record.” ORAP 5.45(1); State v. Vanornum, 354 OR 614, 629, 317 P3d 889 (2013). The Court of Appeals held that the trial court's findings did not violate ORS 419B.449(3) because the record didn’t support that it was "'obvious' that the hearing…required findings under ORS 419B.449." Regarding Petitioners’ second and third assignment, the Court concluded that the juvenile court “had information from which it could have” rejected Mother's request, and noted that the assignments constituted an unpreserved claim. Affirmed.

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