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MATTER RILEY v. ARCHULETTA (02/20/73)

February 20, 1973

IN THE MATTER OF RILEY, BABY BOY, A MINOR CHILD; STATE EX REL JUVENILE DEPARTMENT OF MULTNOMAH COUNTY ET AL, RESPONDENTS,
v.
ARCHULETTA, APPELLANT



Appeal from Circuit Court, Multnomah County. Jean L. Lewis, Judge. No. 35,106.

William J. Keys, Portland, argued the cause and filed the brief for appellant.

Harvey W. Keller, Portland, argued the cause for respondents. With him on the brief were Desmond D. Connall, District Attorney, and Gary W. Gleason, Deputy District Attorney, Portland.

Langtry, Judge. Schwab, Chief Judge, and Fort, Judge.

Langtry

This is an appeal, by the 25-year-old mother of a child born to her June 7, 1968, from an order which terminated her parental rights to that child. The child was born out of wedlock, was a ward of the juvenile court prior to the instant petition, and has been in welfare foster home placement virtually all of the time since birth.

The instant petition, dated November 11, 1971, seeking termination of parental rights alleged that the mother since 1966 had been convicted 18 times of offenses ranging through larceny, assault and prostitution; that the mother did not regularly visit the child and had no immediate plan for its care; and that she is addicted to heroin and is on the methadone program. Evidence produced at the hearing supported all of the above allegations.

At the time of hearing the mother was seeking a delay in order to have time to demonstrate her stability; however, she was not scheduled for release from jail for at least five months.

Five assignments of error are made. We have reviewed them in light of the record and with one exception find that they are without merit or raise questions already decided adversely to the mother's contentions by this or the Oregon Supreme Court.

The one assignment meriting discussion is that the mother urges that the court should have given her time and an opportunity to demonstrate her fitness as a parent. The first and foremost precedent the mother

cites in support of her position is State v. Grady, 231 Or 65, 371 P2d 68 (1962). Grady is a department case in which the Oregon Supreme Court reversed a termination of parental rights order in a situation where the mother was serving a five-year sentence. In Grady the court stressed the rehabilitative effect the child might have on the mother after her prison term was completed but did not discuss what was in the best interests of the child.*fn1 The court said:

"* * * [T]here is evidence which justifies hope that the defendant mother may later be able to adequately resume her maternal duties to this very young little girl * * *." 231 Or at 68-69.

In the case at bar, the trial judge had substantial evidence upon which to base her conclusion that the mother could not be expected to care for her child in the future. One point in this regard was that the mother had utterly failed in a program designed to lead to her care for the child which ...


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