In the Matter of K. L. J., Jr., a Child.
K. J., Appellant. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Petitioner-Respondent,
and submitted October 5, 2018
County Circuit Court 16JU10623 Heidi O. Strauch, Judge pro
Valerie Colas, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for
appellant. Also on the briefs was Shannon Storey, Chief
Defender, Juvenile Appellate Section, Offce of Public Defense
Moore, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for
respondent. Also on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum,
Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.
Hadlock, Presiding Judge, and DeHoog, Judge, and Aoyagi,
appeals a permanency judgment, assigning error to the
juvenile court's order that father undergo a
psychological evaluation. The court originally took
jurisdiction over child on the basis that father has
significant medical issues that interfere with his ability to
parent, and it later added as an additional jurisdictional
basis that father lacks sufficient and stable housing for
child. Father argues that a psychological evaluation bears no
rational relationship to the jurisdictional bases and
therefore is beyond the court's authority to order. The
state responds that the rational-relationship standard is a
minimal threshold of justification and that the evaluation is
rationally related to both jurisdictional bases.
Held: On this record, there is no rational
relationship between a psychological evaluation of father and
either jurisdictional basis.
Or.App. 545] AOYAGI, J.
a dependency case involving a young boy, K. The juvenile
court originally asserted jurisdiction over K based on
several admissions by mother (including drug use) and an
admission by father that father has significant medical
issues that interfere with his ability to parent. The court
later added as an additional jurisdictional basis that father
lacks sufficient and stable housing for the child. In a
permanency judgment, the court ordered father to undergo a
psychological evaluation. Father appeals that judgment,
arguing that the evaluation bears no rational relationship to
the jurisdictional bases. For the reasons that follow, we
reverse and remand.
review the juvenile court's legal conclusions for errors
of law and its findings for any evidence. Dept. of Human
Services v. B. W., 249 Or.App. 123, 125, 275 P.3d 989
born in 2015. In March 2017, the juvenile court asserted
jurisdiction over K based on admissions by mother and father.
Because mother is not a party to this appeal, we limit our
discussion to the jurisdictional bases pertaining to father.
The original basis for jurisdiction was that father has
"significant medical issues that interfere with his
ability to parent and needs assistance from the court and
state to ensure the welfare of the child." In March
2018, the court added as an additional basis for jurisdiction
that "father currently lacks sufficient and stable
housing for the child."
April 24, 2018-more than a year after DHS first asserted
jurisdiction over K-the juvenile court held a permanency
hearing at which Stan, a DHS caseworker, [295 Or.App. 546]
testified about the "barriers" to K returning home
to father at that point. Stan's written report also was
admitted into evidence.
began her testimony about father by saying that there had
been "some concerns about [father's] medical needs
in the beginning" but that DHS had "kind of got
past that when his doctor signed a release stating that
he's only being seen for diabetes, hypertension, and
chronic back pain." Father had recently provided the
release letter at DHS's request. Still, Stan testified,
there were "some concerns back to the medical
stuff" because, "at least six months" before
the hearing, father had told Stan that he needed a double hip
replacement and a kidney transplant, which did not appear to
be true. Father also had posted on Facebook that he had renal
cancer, which did not appear to be true. When Stan spoke with
father about the Facebook post, father told her that "he
can post what he wants and he doesn't care" and that
"he's going to continue to post what he wants;
it's freedom of speech." Asked whether father
mis-presenting the need for a hip replacement was a barrier
to reunification, Stan answered that it was ...