Dept. of Human Services v. R. L. F.
Case #: A154230
Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A154230.pdf
Juvenile Law: ORS 419B.100 provides that jurisdiction over a child is appropriate when there is a current, non-speculative threat to the welfare of the child.
Father appealed the assertion of jurisdiction over his child, A, by the court. Due to Mothers arrest for assault on Father, and Fathers state of intoxication at the time, the Department of Human Services (DHS) removed A from the home. A was placed in nonrelative foster care. DHS petitioned the court to assert jurisdiction. At the hearing, DHS contended that Fathers use of Alcohol, his continued relationship with Mother, his living arraignments with Mother, and his use of marijuana were a danger to the welfare of the child. Father argued that he had ended this relationship, had moved out of the home, was transitioning to a sober housing facility where he could live with A and had filed for a sole custody order. ORS 419B.100 provides that jurisdiction over a child is appropriate when condition or circumstances are such as to endanger the welfare of the child. In addition, the court looks to see if there is a current threat to the child’s safety. Furthermore, the court may not take jurisdiction because the parent engages in conduct that negatively affects their parenting. The Court of Appeals concluded DHS and the State failed to prove that any current, non-speculative threat of harm or injury to A existed by the time of the jurisdictional hearing. The State provided no evidence that Father was a risk or he was unable to protect A from Mother. Reversed.