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In re R. R. P.

Court of Appeals of Oregon

May 24, 2017

In the Matter of R. R. P., a Child.
v.
M. D. P. and K. A. H., Appellants. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Petitioner-Respondent, In the Matter of M. R. P., Jr., a Child. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Petitioner-Respondent,
v.
M. D. P. and K. A. H., Appellants.

          Argued and submitted October 12, 2016

         Lane County Circuit Court 14451J; Petition Number 14451J01, 14452J01 Valeri L. Love, Judge.

          Ginger Fitch argued the cause and filed the brief for appellant K. A. H.

          Shannon Storey, Chief Defender, Juvenile Appellate Section, and Amelia Andersen, Deputy Public Defender, Office of Public Defense Services, filed the brief for appellant M. D. P.

         [285 Or.App. 708] Inge D. Wells, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. On the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, and Jonathan N. Schildt, Assistant Attorney General.

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

         Case Summary:

         Parents appeal the juvenile court's judgments that changed the permanency plans for their two children from reunification to guardianship. Parents assert that the juvenile court erred in concluding that, despite the Department of Human Services' reasonable efforts to effect reunification, parents had not made sufficient progress for the children to safely return home.

         Held:

         There is sufficient evidence in the record to support the juvenile court's conclusion that the parents had not made sufficient process for reunification at the time of the permanency hearing.

         Affrmed.

         [285 Or.App. 709] DUNCAN, P. J.

         In these consolidated juvenile dependency cases, parents appeal the juvenile court's judgments that changed the permanency plans for their two children, R and M, from reunification to guardianship. Parents assert that the juvenile court erred in concluding that, despite the Department of Human Services' (DHS) reasonable efforts to effect reunification, parents had not made sufficient progress for the children to safely return home. We affirm.

         Parents do not request that we exercise our discretion to review this case de novo, and we find no reason to do so. See ORAP 5.4O(8)(c) ("The Court of Appeals will exercise its discretion to try the cause anew on the record or to make one or more factual findings anew on the record only in exceptional cases."). Thus, we "view the evidence, as supplemented and buttressed by permissible derivative inferences, in the light most favorable to the [juvenile] 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); Dept. of Human Services v. G. N., 263 Or.App. 287, 294, 328 P.3d 728, rev den, 356 Or. 638 (2014) (whether a parent's progress was sufficient is a legal conclusion that we review for errors of law).

         We begin with a brief history of DHS's involvement with the family. In October 2014, the juvenile court took jurisdiction over the children based on parents' admissions that their "chaotic lifestyle and residential instability interfere with [their] ability to safely parent [, ]" that father had "exposed the [children] to domestic discord [, ]" and that mother "was subjected to domestic discord" by father and was "unable or unwilling to protect the [children] from exposure to father's discord." The children were placed in relative foster care with their paternal grandmother (grandmother).

         The juvenile court ordered parents to (1) complete domestic violence counseling and demonstrate a "violence-free lifestyle"; (2) complete a psychological evaluation and follow the service recommendations from their evaluators; (3) complete a parent training program and [285 Or.App. 710] ...


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