Oregon Foster Care Crisis

Oregon Juvenile Court “Fudging” Dependency Jurisdiction in Violation of Parental Rights

Oregon DHS took custody of Marcus DeLaurent and his siblings in October 2016. The custodial parent, Trisha DeLaurent, and her three children are long-term Washington residents.

While Marcus was admitted to an Oregon hospital for a medical procedure, two anonymous calls were made to Oregon’s Child Welfare Hotline by the children’s grandmother Pamala Gaddis, an Oregon resident, who claimed her daughter posed a threat of harm to 14-year-old Marcus. 

Against Trisha DeLaurent’s expressed wishes, her estranged mother was granted temporary foster care placement of Trisha’s two special needs children. The grandmother denied foster placement of her third grandchild, for whom she would not receive SS disability funding. As a result, the younger DeLaurent child has been additionally traumatized through separation from his siblings for 17 months.

In 1997, strict federal guidelines were established regarding “Home State” jurisdiction through the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). “The UCCJEA vests exclusive and continuing jurisdiction for child custody litigation in the courts of the child’s home state, which is defined as the state where the child has lived with a parent for six consecutive months prior to the commencement of the proceeding.” In the case of the DeLaurent family, that state is Washington.

Under Section 204 of the UCCJEA, Oregon took TEMPORARY EMERGENCY JURISDICTION of the DeLaurent children in October 2016 based on the following allowances:   

“…the child is present in this State and … the child is [alleged to be] subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.”

However, Oregon State (in accordance with UCCJEA) was then tasked with establishing actual jurisdiction (subject matter and territorial) through a jurisdictional trial within the first 60 days after the children were removed by DHS (see published Oregon DHS chart below).

On Monday, February 26, 2018, the final week of a jurisdictional trial in the DeLaurent dependency case begins. This jurisdictional determination has extended to an record-breaking 17 months, longer than any known Oregon jurisdictional decision. Besides obliterating maximum time limits designed to ensure the rights of families, this delay has resulted in an extreme violation of due process rights of mother and children in this case.

At this point, Trisha DeLaurent and her children have been separated for 17 months without being afforded an opportunity to work toward reunification. 

According to the Oregon Judicial Department (Juvenile Bench Book):

“The purpose of a jurisdictional hearing is to resolve the petition alleging the child is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court under ORS 419B.100. Establishing jurisdiction provides the court a basis for ordering parents into appropriate services that will allow them to work toward reunification”

Delays in jurisdiction can result in delays in both reunification, and getting the child into an appropriate permanent placement when reunification is not an option.

A dismissal of the petition at conclusion of a jurisdictional trial means the state did not meet the burden to prove their allegations of harm, and the children are then returned immediately to the family. This is supposed to occur within 60 days; within the DeLaurent case it has lasted an additional 15 months. This abuse of procedure amounts to little more than state sponsored kidnapping.  

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6 thoughts on “Oregon Juvenile Court “Fudging” Dependency Jurisdiction in Violation of Parental Rights

  1. The State of Oregon is going to cost tax payers 50 million dollars for what they have done to this family. Each day brings a new revelation about the abuse and injustice this family has been subjected to. I am praying and sharing these links. Please tell the mom and kids that we won’t give up in demanding justice for them.

  2. 15 MONTHS of additional time these babies have been kept from their mama. THAT IS KIDNAP! It is illegal. The timeline is not a recommendation it is a due process right! In this case, a serious violation of due process rights.

    The grandmother is a very sick woman for doing this, but the State is responsible for continuing it. That website the mom put up had the medical records and emails from DHS. It showed that this kid has always had issues, issues a parent can’t make up. Then the mom got gagged and the website got taken down. A family friend told me that they tried to make mom sound abusive for publishing the medical records, but THE STATE ACCUSED HER OF MEDICAL ABUSE. The medical records should prove medical abuse according to the state. Instead the medical records PROVED innocence. The videos of the child’s episodes that were on the website were shocking. The idiot CPS caseworker should go to prison.

    This is the sort of sinister case that makes the public lose faith in the government. All officials should feel some extra pressure since this is an election year and CPS is already a hot topic because it is a dangerous cesspool.

  3. By law this hearing/jurisdictional trial is supposed to be held within 60 days, and it is now 17 months later and it is just taking place? (Not to mention that the accusations from the Munchausen Grandmother have been proven totally false.) This is an utter travesty! Long ago, the charges should have been dropped and the children returned to their mother. They never should have been removed in the first place. So much harm has been done. At least do the right thing now, Oregon!

  4. Oregon, it’s time to do right by this family, way past time. 17 months of delays when the jurisdictional hearing should have been completed in 60 days? And the children have been separated from their mother all this time? And the siblings themselves separated from each other, with the manchausen grandma only wanting the two with the highest monthly disability revenue from the state? This is an injustice. Oregon DHS: You are supposed to be looking out for juveniles instead you are victimizing families. The world is watching. It’s time to do the right thing and reunify this family. You have already done enough damage.

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