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Dept. of Human Services v. J. B.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-08-2012
Case #: A148989
Haselton, P.J. for the Court; Armstrong, J.; & Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A148989.pdf

Juvenile Law: Paternity over a child is established in ORS 109.070 (1). Moreover, an outdated Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) fails to establish paternity of a parent, and thus is fatal to the parent's effort to become the legal parent.

A child in this juvenile dependency case filed a motion for judgment of nonpaternity late in the stages of the dependency process. The lower court dismissed the motion because the motion was untimely due to paternity already being established by a voluntary paternity acknowledgement. The child appealed, arguing that the paternity acknowledgement was invalid because it was outdated. The Court held that due to this error the acknowledgement did not establish a legal father; therefore the lower court should have reviewed the merits of the motion. The Court did note that the motion was filed late in the stages in litigation, but nonetheless said that child's adoption interests justified a delay in the dependency process to review the motion. Reversed and remanded.