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In re Ja-Lyn R

In re Ja-Lyn R

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Published by Thalia Sanders
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Published by: Thalia Sanders on Nov 28, 2011
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Westlaw Delivery Summary Report for PATRON ACCESS,-
Your Search: LORETTA A. HONEYCUTDate/Time of Request: Monday, November 28, 2011 10:39 EasternClient Identifier: PATRON ACCESSDatabase: ALLCASESCitation Text: --- A.3d ----Lines: 352Documents: 1Images: 0
Civil. child neglect. Insufficient evidence to determine child would be permanently neglected and removed fromparent. (2011) In re Ja-Lyn R. --- A.3d ----, 2011 WL 5842371 Conn
The material accompanying this summary is subject to copyright. Usage is governed by contract with Thomson Reuters,West and their affiliates.
 
Only the Westlaw citation is currently available.Appellate Court of Connecticut.In re JA–LYNR.FN*FN*In accordance with the spirit and in-tent of General Statutes § 46b–142(b) and Practice Book § 79–3, the names of theparties involved in this appeal are not dis-closed. The records and papers of this caseshall be open for inspection only to per-sons having
a
proper interest therein andupon order of the Appellate Court.No. 33423.Argued Oct. 12, 2011.Decided Nov. 29, 2011.Appeal from Superior Court, judicial district of Waterbury, Juvenile Matters, Hon. Thayer Baldwin,Jr., judge trial referee.John M. Eichholz, for the appellant (respondentmother).Stephen G. Vitelli, assistant attorney general, withwhom, on the brief, were George Jepsen, attorneygeneral, andBenjamin Zivyon, assistant attorney general, for the appellee (petitioner).Michael J. Culkin, for the minor child.DiPENTIMA, C.J., and BEAR andSCHALLER, Js.DiPENTIMA, C.J.
*1
The respondent mother appeals from the judgment of the trial court committing her minorchild Ja-lyn R. to the custody of the petitioner, thecommissioner of the department of children andfamilies (commissioner).FN1On appeal, the re-spondent claims that the court (1) had insufficientevidence to support
a
determination of neglect and(2) improperly concluded that it was in the best in-terest of Ja-lyn to commit him to the custody of thecommissioner.FN2We affirm the judgment of thetrial court.FN1.The court's adjudicatory and disposi-tional order also named the respondentfather, but he has not filed an appeal of thecourt's judgment. We therefore refer in thisopinion to the respondent mother as the re-spondent. Additionally, we note that pursu-ant toPractice Book § 67–13(2), counsel for Ja-lyn filed
a
statement adopting thebrief of the commissioner in this appeal.FN2.Although the respondent conflatesthese two claims in her brief, we note thatthe court's determination of neglect and thecourt's commitment of Jalyn to the custodyof the commissioner are distinct legal con-clusions with differing standards of reviewon appeal. See
A
.3d13,cert. denied,298 Conn. 927,5
A
.3d487 (2010). We therefore will review theseclaims separately.The following facts and procedural history arerelevant to this appeal. On January 22, 2010, Ja-lynwas born and then placed directly into the custodyof the department of children and families(department) under
a
ninety-six hour administrativehold pursuant toGeneral Statutes § 17a–101g(e) and (f). On January 28, 2010, the commissionerfiled
a
neglect petition on behalf of Ja-lyn and ob-tained an order of temporary custody from the courtthat same day. The petition alleged that Ja-lyn wasbeing denied proper care and attention physically,educationally, emotionally or morally and that hewas being permitted to live under conditions, cir-cumstances or associations injurious to his well-being.FN3In anaddendum to the petition, the com-missioner alleged that the respondent had cognitivelimitations and ongoing unresolved mental healthPage 1--- A.3d ----, 2011 WL 5842371 (Conn.App.)
(Cite as: 2011 WL 5842371 (Conn.App.))
© 2011 Thomson Reuters. No Claim to Orig. US Gov. Works.
 
and substance abuse issues. The commissioner alsoalleged that the respondent exhibited poor parentingand serious anger management issues. Finally, thecommissioner alleged that the respondent had
a
criminal charge of risk of injury to
a
child pendingin regard to her older child,
a
daughter, and thatthere were issues of domestic violence between therespondent and the father of Ja-lyn.FN3.We note that the commissioner's so-cial study in support of its neglect petitionalleged the following: “On [January 22,2010], [the respondent] gave birth to hersecond child, Ja-lyn.... At the time of [therespondent's] admission to the hospital,[the respondent] tested positive formarijuana.
A
referral was made to the[department] by Waterbury Hospital due to[the respondent's] substance abuse problemand her erratic behavior towards the hos-pital staff. The staff was afraid to leave thechild unsupervised around [the respond-ent].”On February 23, 2010, the respondent agreed tothe order of temporary custody. On March 4, 2011,the court denied the respondent's motion to vacatethe order. On March 4, 2011, after
a
trial, the courtdetermined that Ja-lyn was
a
neglected child andcommitted him to the custody of the commissioner.The court found that the respondent had been work-ing with the department since the birth of her olderchild. The court found that the respondent's historyconfirmed that “even after taking advantage of offered services [the respondent] has been unable tosafely care for [her children]. [The respondent's]history is that she manages to successfully completethe work required for reunification, but fails to ap-ply what she has learned when given the opportun-ity.” The court concluded that the respondent “mustmake
a
commitment to cooperate with [the depart-ment] and any offered services to earn reunificationwith her children.” Accordingly, the court adjudic-ated Ja-lyn neglected and committed him to thecustody of the commissioner. This appeal followed.Before addressing the respondent's claims, wefirst set forth the procedures governing neglect pro-ceedings. “Neglect proceedings, under ...[GeneralStatutes] § 46b–129, are comprised of two parts,adjudication and disposition.... During the adjudic-atory phase, the court determines if the child wasneglected. Practice Book § 35a–7 (
a
) provides inrelevant part: In the adjudicatory phase, the judicialauthority is limited to evidence of events precedingthe filing of the petition or the latest amendment....[General Statutes § 46b120 (9) ] provides that
a
child may be found neglected if the child is beingdenied proper care and attention, physically, educa-tionally, emotionally or morally, or is being permit-ted to live under conditions, circumstances, or asso-ciations injurious to the well-being of the child oryouth.... The standard of proof applicable to non-permanent custody proceedings, such as neglectproceedings, is
a
fair preponderance of the evid-ence .” (Citation omitted; internal quotation marksomitted.)
A
A
*2
The respondent first claims that there wasinsufficient evidence to support the court's determ-ination of neglect. We disagree.We begin our analysis by setting forth the ap-plicable standard of review. “When considering
a
challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, thefunction of an appellate court is to review the find-ings of the trial court, not to retry the case.... [W]emust determine whether the facts set out in thememorandum of decision are supported by theevidence or whether, in light of the evidence andthe pleadings in the whole record, those facts areclearly erroneous.... We also must determinewhether those facts correctly found are, as
a
matterof law, sufficient to support the judgment.... [W]egive great deference to the findings of the trialcourt because of its function to weigh and interpretthe evidence before it and to pass upon the credibil-ity of witnesses....” (Internal quotation marks omit-Page 2--- A.3d ----, 2011 WL 5842371 (Conn.App.)
(Cite as: 2011 WL 5842371 (Conn.App.))
© 2011 Thomson Reuters. No Claim to Orig. US Gov. Works.

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