In the Matter of K. M. P., aka K. P., a Child.
J. H., Appellant. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Petitioner-Respondent,
and submitted May 3, 2018.
County Circuit Court 17JU07466. Heidi O. Strauch, Judge.
Peterson, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for
appellant. Also on the briefs was Shannon Storey, Chief
Defender, Juvenile Appellate Section, Office of Public
Kahn, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for
respondent. On the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney
General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, and Jeff J.
Payne, Assistant Attorney General.
Hadlock, Presiding Judge, and DeHoog, Judge, and Aoyagi,
Summary: The juvenile court entered a judgment of
jurisdiction over K, a 10-year-old girl, based on
mother's substance abuse interfering with her ability to
safely parent and mother exposing the child to domestic
violence. On appeal, mother challenges both bases of
jurisdiction. Held: The evidence at the
jurisdictional hearing was not legally sufficient to permit
the trial court to assert jurisdiction. The evidence was
insufficient to establish that mother's drug use exposed
K to a current threat of serious loss or injury that was
likely to be realized in the absence of jurisdiction. It also
was insuffcient to establish that domestic violence in
mother's home exposed K to a current threat of serious
loss or injury.
Or.App. 734] AOYAGI, J.
juvenile court entered a judgment of jurisdiction over K, a
10-year-old girl, based on mother's substance abuse
interfering with her ability to safely parent and mother
exposing the child to domestic violence. On appeal, mother
challenges both bases of jurisdiction. For the reasons that
follow, we agree with mother that the record is not legally
sufficient to support jurisdiction. Accordingly, we reverse.
appeal of a jurisdictional judgment, we determine whether, on
the record before it, the juvenile court erred in making the
statutorily prescribed determination. Dept. of Human
Services v. N. P., 257 Or.App. 633, 639, 307 P.3d 444
(2013). Viewing the evidence, as supplemented and buttressed
by permissible derivative inferences, in the light most
favorable to the juvenile court's disposition, we assess
whether the record was legally sufficient to permit the
outcome. Id. at 639-40. We state the facts in
accordance with our standard of review, along with
uncontroverted procedural facts.
has a long history of methamphetamine use, treatment, and
relapse, dating back to when she was an adolescent. Mother
participated in a treatment program for adolescents with
substance abuse problems while she was pregnant with K.
According to mother, she remained clean for "quite some
time" after engaging in that program, but eventually
relapsed for about a year and a half, then was clean for four
and a half years, and then relapsed again. Mother's most
recent relapse occurred in May 2017. According to mother, she
used methamphetamine four times in May 2017, which happened
at a friend's house while K was in school; did not use in
June or July 2017; and then used twice more in early August
2017, while K was living with both of her grandmothers.
Mother says that she feels "agitated" and "not
[her] normal bubbly self" when she uses methamphetamine
and that the effects usually last for three to five hours.
domestic partner, W, has lived in the family home since
spring 2015. Beginning around November [292 Or.App. 735]
2016, and continuing until at least August 2017, mother and W
argued regularly in the home. Sometimes mother and W would
start arguing in a common area and then go to their bedroom
and lock the door to argue. Approximately three days each
week, K would arrive home from school and hear mother and W
"yelling" in their bedroom. According to K, she
"didn't need to get into it" so she would
retreat to her own room about three feet away. K could hear
mother "screaming and crying stop and stuff and W asking
"why are you like crying and stuff." K thought that
mother probably was telling W to "stop yelling at
her" when she said "stop." On "quite a
few" occasions, K heard "stuff being knocked
over" in the bedroom and thought that it was a glass
falling, a telephone falling, or something like that.
Sometimes mother would burst out of the bedroom, W would lock
the bedroom door behind her, and then mother and W would
"be all pushing on the door against each other and
"scared" that mother and W "were going to get
hurt" during their arguments, but K never observed any
physical violence between mother and W. Mother also denied
any physical violence. Mother recalled breaking a cup once
during an argument, but she did not throw the cup at W; it
just got broken. Asked about whether she felt safe at home, K
testified that "the only time I didn't feel like I
was safe was when [mother and W] were fighting." K also
testified that mother had never hurt her and that she
"never thought about" the possibility of W hurting
at trial about mother's ability to meet her needs, K
testified that ...