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Department of Human Services v. C.M.M.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 05-16-2012
Case #: A149164
Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Sercombe, J.; and Hadlock, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A149164.pdf

Family Law: When determining the fitness of a parent, the test is at the time of termination and focuses on the detrimental effects of the parent's conduct on the child.

Mother appealed the termination of her parental rights. The Mother's son, E, was removed from her care under ORS 419B.504 based on unfitness following the non- accidental injuries of E's older step brothers under Father's supervision. After pleading guilty to criminal mistreatment, Father was sentenced to 31 months imprisonment. Mother participated in parenting training, health counseling, and received a psychological evaluation, but violated a non-contact order when she communicated with Father under a pseudonym. The psychological evaluation revealed that Mother failed to recognize Father as a threat to the children. The juvenile court terminated both parents' rights to E after a termination trial. Mother appealed claiming that E was not in a position that was seriously detrimental at the time of termination. When determining the fitness of a parent, the test is at the time of termination and focuses on the detrimental effects of the parent's conduct on the child. The Court found that Mother's failure to fully recognize Father's threat to E, her unwavering allegiance to the Father, and the likeliness that she will fail to place E's needs above her own in this matter make it unlikely E can be reintroduced into her care. Therefore, her conduct was extremely detrimental to E. Affirmed.