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Dept. of Human Services v. A.M.C.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-17-2011
Case #: A147480
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; & Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A147480.pdf

Family Law: To terminate parental rights, DHS must present clear and convincing evidence that a parent’s conduct or condition is seriously detrimental to the child; and a judgment terminating parental rights cannot be supported by evidence regarding the condition without evidence regarding detriment.

Mother appeals the judgment of the trial court terminating her parental rights to her daughter H. At the time of trial and by her own admission, mother was unfit to assume the responsibilities of parenting. Up until her most recent incarceration, she abused drugs, committed crimes, and failed every attempt to reform. DHS argues that the mother is likely to relapse and her behavior was and will be detrimental to H. It also argues that it would be too long before the mother is fit to resume her parenting responsibilities. The Court of Appeals reversed. The requirements of ORS 419B.504 require that DHS prove to a clear and convincing standard that the parent engage in conduct or have a condition that is seriously detrimental to the child, and that given the conduct or condition the child cannot be integrated into the parent’s home. Analyzing the record, the Court found evidence regarding the mother’s condition, but insufficient evidence regarding serious detriment to H. Reversed.