Posts tagged "1100314"

Care and Protection of Yetta (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-003-14)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;     12‑P‑1540                                       Appeals Court   CARE AND PROTECTION OF YETTA.[1] No. 12‑P‑1540. Middlesex.     April 10, 2013.  ‑  January 16, 2014. Present:  Trainor, Graham, & Wolohojian, JJ.   Parent and Child, Care and protection of minor, Custody of minor.  Minor, Care and protection, Custody.  Practice, Civil, Care and protection proceeding, Findings by judge.       Petition filed in the Middlesex County Division of the Juvenile Court Department on January 12, 2010.   The case was heard by Kenneth J. King, J.     David J. Cohen, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for the father. Diana S. Spanos for the mother. Jocelyn Thomsen for the children. Brian R. Pariser for Department of Children and Families.       GRAHAM, J.  The Department of Children and Families (department) filed a petition under G. L. c. 119, § 24, alleging that five children, Eve, Yetta, Sam, Deborah, and Ted, were in need of care and protection.  The petition was based on the testimony of the eldest child, Eve, that she had been sexually abused by her step-father (father). After an eight-day trial in the Juvenile Court, the judge found that the department had failed to prove that the father had sexually abused any of the children but concluded, nonetheless, that the children were in need of care and protection.  Pursuant to G. L. c. 119, § 26, the judge committed Eve to the custody of the department, but permitted the other four children (children) to remain in the custody of the parents, subject to certain enumerated conditions. On appeal, the father, mother, and children argue that the evidence and the judge’s subsidiary findings do not adequately support a finding of parental unfitness; that the judge exceeded his authority by imposing conditions on the parents’ custody of the children without an explicit finding that the parents were unfit; and that certain findings made by the judge are clearly erroneous. We agree that the findings are insufficient to support a conclusion that the parents are unfit and, accordingly, vacate the judgment and order. Background.  The mother is the biological parent of six children:  Gail (born in 1990, who was an adult at the time the petition was filed); Eve (born in 1996); Yetta (born in 2000); Sam (born in 2004); Deborah (born in 2006); and Ted (born in 2010).  The father is the biological parent of Sam, Deborah, […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 16, 2014 at 6:33 pm

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