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Department of Human Services v. J. M.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-26-2013
Case #: A153854
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A153854.pdf

Juvenile Law: The Department of Human Services has the burden of showing, by the preponderance of the evidence, that the conditions that were originally found to endanger the child persist to a degree that they currently pose a threat of either serious loss or injury that is reasonably likely to be realized.

Father appealed a judgment of the juvenile court after a permanency hearing, assigning error to the court's denial of his motion to dismiss the jurisdictional petition and to the court's change in the permanency plan—from unification to adoption—for his two young children, J and S. The Court of Appeals stated that the dispositive question in this case was not what Father believed, but what he—at the time of the hearing—was likely to do.  DHS needed to satisfy its burden of establishing that, at the time of the hearing, father posed a current threat of serious loss or injury that is reasonably likely to be realized or that Father has not made sufficient progress to allow the children to be returned home safely.  However, DHS relied upon improper inferences from the evidence, and failed to make the requisite showing, in light of Father's own assertion, self-assessment, and outstanding completion of a parent education class.  Reversed and remanded.