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In re H.H.C.

Court of Appeals of Oregon

January 7, 2015

In the Matter of H. H. C., a Child.
v.
A. L. and A. S., Appellants. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Petitioner-Respondent, In the Matter of E. E. C. Z., a Child. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Petitioner-Respondent,
v.
A. L. and A. S., Appellants. In the Matter of A. E. S., a Child. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Petitioner-Respondent,
v.
A. L. and A. S., Appellants

Argued and Submitted November 6, 2014

Page 175

Washington County Circuit Court. J130504. Petition Number 01J130504M. Washington County Circuit Court. J130505. Petition Number 01J130504M. Washington County Circuit Court. J130506. Petition Number 01J130504M. Ricardo J. Menchaca, Judge.

Megan L. Jacquot argued the cause and filed the brief for appellant A. L.

Sarah Peterson, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant A. S. With her on the brief was Peter Gartlan, Chief Defender, Office of Public Defense Services.

Carson L. Whitehead, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor General.

Before Ortega, Presiding Judge, and DeVore, Judge, and Garrett, Judge.

OPINION

Page 176

[268 Or.App. 393] ORTEGA, P. J.

In this consolidated appeal, father and mother challenge the juvenile court's judgments asserting jurisdiction over their three children. Parents assign error to the court's failure to dismiss the dependency petitions regarding the children and to the court's determination that the Department of Human Services (DHS) proved each allegation in the petitions. Because the record did not permit the juvenile court to determine that the " child[ren's] condition or circumstances gave rise to" a current threat of harm to the children, we reverse and remand.

" [W]e view the evidence, as supplemented and buttressed by permissible derivative inferences, in the light most favorable to the trial court's disposition and assess whether, when so viewed, the record was legally sufficient to permit that outcome." Dept. of Human Services v. N.P., 257 Or.App. 633, 639, 307 P.3d 444 (2013). We " assume the correctness of the juvenile court's explicit findings of historical fact if these findings are supported by any evidence in the record." Id. We state the facts consistently with that standard.

This case concerns three children: A (10 years), E (1 year), and H (3 months). Mother and father live in the paternal grandparents' home. Up until the time of removal, A and E had lived in that home for their entire lives. Father's family is Chinese and of Mien descent. In their culture, large families live together, honoring close cross-generational ties, and grandparents and older relatives often act as primary caregivers to children.

When mother gave birth to A in 2004, the paternal grandparents immediately assumed primary parenting responsibilities. For the most part, mother and father lived in the home and interacted with A like close relatives rather than parents. At times, mother and father lived elsewhere, but they maintained frequent contact with the paternal grandparents.

In January 2013, mother gave birth to E. Mother and E tested positive for methamphetamine at the time of the birth, and mother admitted to using methamphetamine [268 Or.App. 394] six months before her pregnancy and three days before E was born. E was not " drug-affected" and the paternal grandparents became his primary caregiver when he came home from the hospital. DHS made several attempts to contact parents in the first few months of E's life, but after receiving no response, DHS closed the case ...


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