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Dept. of Human Services v. S.D.I.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-23-2013
Case #: A153727
Duncan, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Wollheim, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A153727.pdf

Juvenile Law: For ORS 419B.100(c) to apply, the State must show sufficient evidence of the type, degree and duration of any psychological or emotional damage that would justify juvenile court jurisdiction over the child.

Mother appealed the juvenile court's assertion of jurisdiction over her child, A. Mother was struggling with a drug addiction when she gave birth to A. As a result, Mother lost custody of A. Mother maintained supervised visits but eventually stopped. When Father lost custody of A an amended dependency petition was filed so the juvenile court could take jurisdiction of A and help transition the child into Mother's house. Subsequently, a hearing was held and a caseworker testified that the transition for A could be psychologically damaging and that DHS would need to supervise the transition. The State argued that the circumstances met ORS 419B.100(c) permitting the juvenile court to take jurisdiction over the child. The juvenile court agreed. Mother appealed and argued that the juvenile court erred when it allowed the caseworkers testimony as sufficient evidence to establish jurisdiction under ORS 419B.100(c). The Court of Appeals held that under ORS 419B.100 the State had not met the burden of proof to establish that the transition would require jurisdiction by the juvenile court due to psychological or emotional harm. Reversed.