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Dept. of Human Services v. C. L.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-19-2012
Case #: A150144
Wollheim, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A150144.pdf

Juvenile Law: Evidence of a mother's physical abuse of her child is admissible for the first time at the hearing when the permanency plan at the time of hearing is APPLA and a change to the plan is being made to adoption, as long as there are procedural safeguards in place.

Mother appealed the juvenile court's judgment in changing the permanency plan for Mother's daughter, B, to adoption from "another planned permanent living arrangement" (APPLA). Mother argued that the court erred in considering evidence for the first time at the hearing that Mother physically abused B. Mother argued that because the evidence had not been a basis of jurisdiction, it was inadmissible. The Court of Appeals disagreed, stating that because the permanency plan was APPLA at the time of the hearing and the Mother was requesting reunification, the court could consider evidence of physical abuse. The Court explained that in this circumstance, the inquiry (whether the State had made reasonable efforts to follow APPLA) was child centered and not based on parental progress. The Court reasoned that the presented evidence did not violate the Mother's substantial rights, and procedural safeguards provided her an opportunity to respond, and therefore no error had been committed. Affirmed.