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Department of Human Services v. T.C.A.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 07-25-2012
Case #: A150003
Ortega, P.J., for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A150003.pdf

Family Law: Overturning a termination of parental rights does not, by implication, mean that DHS must pursue re-unification of parent and child.

Mother appealed a judgment changing the permanency plan for her child from adoption to "another planned permanent living arrangement" (APPLA), citing as error the trial court's choice of plan as well as DHS's failure to comply with the OAR's when developing APPLA. Previously, the trial court had terminated Mother's parental rights and DHS developed the permanency plan of adoption for the child, but the Court of Appeals reversed the termination of parental rights. Mother sought to have the permanency plan changed to "reunification" while DHS sought to change it to APPLA. Mother argued that the necessary implication of the Court of Appeals opinion was that DHS had to make efforts to reunify Mother and child. The trial court concluded that, although APPLA was the least preferred permanency plan, no other option was appropriate. The Court of Appeals explained that the statutory scheme required the trial court to explain why it was not appropriate to reunify Mother and child, which it did, and that DHS's efforts to pursue the permanency plan were reasonable. Affirmed.