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In re Interest of Chloe P. (***)

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Date: 
Thursday, September 12, 2013

A-12-0827, In re Interest of Chloe P., a child under 18 years of age. State of Nebraska v. Susan M. (Appellant)

Madison County, County Court Judge Ross Stoffer

Attorney for Appellant:  Chelsey R. Hartner (Public Defender’s Office)

Attorney for Appellee (State):  Gail Collins (County Attorney’s Office)

Attorney for Appellee (Father):  Patrick P. Carney (Carney Law, P.C.)

Attorney for GAL:  R.D. Stafford (Brogan & Stafford, P.C.)

Action:  Juvenile adjudication

Action Taken by Trial Court:  The trial court adjudicated the child and placed her in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Assignments of Error on Appeal:  The trial court erred in granting the State’s motion for temporary custody,  failing to hear the mother’s amended motion for the return of physical custody before the adjudication hearing, and adjudicating Chloe as a juvenile within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247(3)(a).

Extended Case Summary (for Educational Purposes): 

A-12-0827, In re Interest of Chloe P., a child under 18 years of age. State of Nebraska v. Susan M. (Appellant)

Madison County, County Court Judge Ross Stoffer

Attorney for Appellant: Chelsey R. Hartner (Public Defender’s Office)

Attorney for Appellee (State): Gail Collins (County Attorney’s Office)

Attorney for Appellee (Father): Patrick P. Carney (Carney Law, P.C.)

Attorney for GAL: R.D. Stafford (Brogan & Stafford, P.C.)

Action: Juvenile adjudication.

Chloe P. was born in January 2012. DHHS became involved in Chloe’s case as soon as she was born due to the recent termination of parental rights to her two older siblings. Chloe soon developed electrolyte disturbances, hypoglycemia, and feeding issues. Her feeding issues required significant medical attention and Chloe was designated as at risk for failure to thrive. Prior to her discharge from the hospital, Chloe’s doctor ordered a 48-hour monitoring period where her parents were responsible for taking care of her. On two occasions during that period, Chloe’s nurse had to prompt her mother to complete a feeding. The nurse reported the need for these prompts to a DHHS protection worker and on the day she was discharged DHHS filed a motion for temporary care and custody.

The county court issued an ex parte order authorizing DHHS to obtain custody and scheduled a placement hearing for February 21, 2012. At that hearing, the mother requested that the child be placed with her, but did not offer evidence to support that request. The mother subsequently filed a motion seeking the return of legal and physical custody of Chloe. The trial court determined that the motion and the adjudication would be heard at the same time. At the adjudication hearing, Chloe was adjudicated as within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247(3)(a).

Assignments of Error on Appeal: On appeal, the mother argued that the trial court erred in granting the State’s motion for temporary custody. In particular, she argues that the trial court violated her procedural due process rights by failing to hold a contested detention hearing. The mother also objects to the trial court’s failure to hear her amended motion for the return of physical custody before the adjudication hearing. Finally, the mother argues that the trial court erred in adjudicating Chloe as a juvenile within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247(3)(a). The father also appealed from the adjudication.

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