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In re J. S.

Court of Appeals of Oregon

November 1, 2017

In the Matter of J. S., aka J. W. S., a Child.
v.
C. E., aka C. B. E., Appellant. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Petitioner-Respondent, and J. S., aka J. W. S., Respondent, In the Matter of J. W., a Child. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Petitioner-Respondent, and J . W., Respondent,
v.
C. E., Appellant.

          Submitted September 12, 2017

         Douglas County Circuit Court 1000398, 1100301; Petition Number 14JU273, 14JU272, Luke A. Stanton, Judge pro tempore.

         [288 Or. 650] Shannon Storey, Chief Defender, Juvenile Appellate Section, and Holly Telerant, Deputy Public Defender, Offce of Public Defense Services, fled the brief for appellant C. E.

          Ginger Fitch fled the brief for respondents J. S. and J. W.

          Judy C. Lucas, Assistant Attorney General, waived appearance for respondent Dept. of Human Services.

          Before Garrett, Presiding Judge, and Powers, Judge, and Wollheim, Senior Judge.

         Case Summary:

         In a consolidated appeal, father appeals judgments changing the permanency plans for his children B and N away from reunification. Father argues that the juvenile court erroneously relied upon facts extrinsic to the jurisdictional bases in determining that he had not made sufficient progress toward reunification. Specifically, father argues that the evidence that he was indicted for promoting prostitution and that his children have special needs was extrinsic to the bases for jurisdiction, which include inappropriate discipline and domestic violence in the presence of children in his care. Held: The juvenile court did not err. When a jurisdictional judgment and attached documentation specifically identify a potential cause underlying a jurisdictional finding, it can be fairly inferred that the identified cause will be a referent for measuring the parent's progress. Because the original case plan fled concurrently with the jurisdictional judgment identified father's controlling behavior and pursuit of unhealthy relationships as an underlying concern, the trial court properly considered father's involvement in his romantic partner's prostitution when assessing whether the threat of domestic violence persists. Additionally, because the original case plan specified that father must utilize services to the extent necessary to manage his children's behavior, the particular needs of those children were not extrinsic to the basis for jurisdiction.

         Affirmed.

         [288 Or. 651] GARRETT, P.J.

         In this consolidated appeal, father appeals from permanency judgments in which the juvenile court changed the permanency plans for his two children, B and N, away from reunification.[1] Father's sole argument on appeal is that the juvenile court erroneously considered facts extrinsic to the bases for jurisdiction in determining that father had failed to make sufficient progress to ameliorate those bases. We conclude that the juvenile court did not err and affirm.

         None of the parties request de novo review, and we conclude that the case is not one that warrants such review. See ORAP 5.40(8)(c); ORS 19.415(3)(b). "Whether a juvenile court erred by relying on facts extrinsic to a jurisdictional judgment is a legal question that we review for errors of law." Dept. of Human Services v. T. L.. 287 Or.App. 753, 755, __P.3d__(2017) (internal quotation marks omitted). In so doing, "we defer to the juvenile court's explicit findings of historical fact if those findings are supported by any evidence in the record, and we assume that the juvenile court implicitly found predicate facts necessary to support its disposition." Dept. of Human Services v. S. M. H., 283 Or.App. 295, 297, 388 P.3d 1204 (2017).

         In September 2014, the Department of Human Services (DHS) removed B and N from father's home after father was arrested for assaulting his then-wife in the presence of children in his care. Father was subsequently convicted of felony fourth-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Father later admitted that, during the incident, he was under the influence of alcohol and prescription medications.

         According to DHS reports, father's then-wife, along with several of his former romantic partners, described father as abusive and controlling and said that father had subjected them to physical and verbal abuse. In addition, a report stated that father had been "physically abusive with all of the children in his care, " and his methods of "discipline" included striking the children in the head and face with "sticks, spoons, belts, and other objects." A DHS worker [288 Or. 652] also described father as "domineering with his children, " stating that, although father ...


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