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Dept. of Human Services v. M. Q.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-05-2012
Case #: A151092
Hadlock, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A151092.pdf

Juvenile Law: Child endangerment requires conditions that rise to the level of "being threatened with serious loss or injury." The threat must be current to prove the child is endangered.

Father appealed a jurisdictional decision determining the Child's welfare was endangered. The juvenile court took jurisdiction of the Father's child because the Father had failed to complete court-ordered drug treatment, had a criminal history, and the Child was a former ward of the state. Father appealed, arguing the State had insufficient evidence because the State did not prove his criminal history posed a "current threat of serious loss or injury." The State replied that because Child was originally removed due to parental use of methamphetamine that Father's failure to complete drug treatment posed a current threat. The Court agreed with Father and determined that the record lacked any evidence that Father had used drugs in the preceding year of the hearing. Father visited Child weekly for several months and had never appeared to be in a drug affected state. The Court held that because jurisdiction cannot be solely based on a parent's past problems, the State's evidence was insufficient. Jurisdictional judgment reversed as to Father; otherwise affirmed.