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Idaho Dep't of Health & Welfare v. Doe

Supreme Court of Idaho

January 23, 2015

IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & WELFARE, Petitioner-Respondent,
v.
JANE (2014-23) DOE, Respondent-Appellant

2015 Opinion No. 7

Appeal from the District Court of the Third Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Payette County. Hon. Brian D. Lee, Magistrate Judge.

The decision of the magistrate court is affirmed.

Law Office of Kelly Whiting, P.C., Fruitland, for appellant.

Honorable Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

J. JONES, Justice. Chief Justice BURDICK, and Justices EISMANN, W. JONES, and HORTON CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 633

J. JONES, Justice

Jane Doe appeals from an order terminating her parental rights to her son, TSD. Because TSD is an " Indian child" as that term is defined by the Indian Child Welfare Act, the magistrate court was required to make findings in addition to those required by Idaho law. Among other findings, the Department of Health and Welfare (" DHW" ) was required to satisfy the court that it made " active efforts" to " prevent the breakup of the Indian family." On appeal, Doe argues

Page 634

that the magistrate court erred in finding that DHW made such efforts and erred in failing to make that finding by clear and convincing evidence.

I.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

TSD was removed from Jane Doe's custody on April 14, 2012, when an officer responded to a call reporting a toddler left unattended in a trailer court. The officer recognized the child as TSD, then two years old, from previous calls to Doe's residence. When the officer returned TSD to Doe, he discovered that Doe and three minors were intoxicated.[1] According to the officer, Doe admitted to being intoxicated, expressed concern that she had a problem with alcohol abuse, and stated that she needed treatment. The officer took TSD into custody pursuant to the Child Protective Act, Idaho Code sections 16-1601 to 16-1643, and TSD was placed in temporary custody with DHW. Doe then stipulated to a shelter care order and TSD was placed in the care of Doe's aunt. Following a hearing on May 7, 2012, the magistrate court granted legal custody of TSD to DHW. In the same order, the ...


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