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Dept. of Human Services v. D.S.F.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-26-2011
Case #: A148200
Duncan, J. for the Court; Haselton, P.J.; Armstrong, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A148200.pdf

Family Law: Under ORS 419B.100(1)(c), custody of a child may not be taken away from a parent unless the parent's conduct is reasonably likely to threaten the welfare of the child.

Appellant D.S.F is the father of two young children who the juvenile court ruled should be taken out of his custody. Father was the primary caretaker. When he was not available to care for the children they were either at school, daycare, or with a babysitter. Mother has a long-time addiction to intoxicants and was in and out of treatment - with numerous relapses. The children were never left alone with Mother and she was not allowed to be in the home if she relapsed. DHS claimed that the children should be taken from Father's custody because the children's proximity to Mother in the home placed them in danger. The Court of Appeals ruled that, under ORS 419B.100(1)(c), the limited exposure that the children had to Mother and the lack of evidence of verbal or physical abuse did not sustain the juvenile court's decision that Father was unable to care for and protect his children. Father is granted custody of the children. Reversed and remanded.