Kansas Court of Appeals
OSBORN V. ANDERSON
BOURBON DISTRICT COURT—REVERSED AND REMANDED
NO. 118,982—OCTOBER 19, 2018
FACTS: Although he was not the biological father, Osborn signed a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity for A.O. Osborn and is also listed as A.O.'s father on the birth certificate. Osborn married A.O.'s mother, but the relationship quickly soured and the marriage was annulled. Sadly, A.O. was later killed by Mother's new boyfriend. Osborn filed a wrongful death petition against the boyfriend and DCF officials. Mother and DCF sought dismissal, claiming that Osborn lacked standing because he was not A.O.'s biological father. The district court agreed and summarily dismissed Osborn's suit for lack of standing. Osborn appealed.
ISSUES: (1) Standing; (2) authority to challenge paternity
HELD: Osborn has standing to pursue a wrongful death action only if he is A.O.'s legal father. The annulment between Osborn and Mother did not revoke Osborn's prior acknowledgement of parentage. In the absence of a timely, separate action to revoke the VAP, Osborn's acknowledgement of parentage remains valid even after the annulment. There is no statutory authority that would allow DCF to challenge Osborn's paternity.
STATUTE: K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 23-2204, -2204(b)(1), -2208(a), -2209(a), -2209(b), -2209(e), -2210(a); K.S.A. 60-1902
CHILD IN NEED OF CARE—JURISDICTION
IN RE K.L.B.
SEDGWICK DISTRICT COURT—AFFIRMED
NO. 118,563—OCTOBER 19, 2018
FACTS: Mother brought K.L.B. and another child to Kansas from Kentucky. After being in Kansas for a week, the children were taken into State custody. Mother did not contest the allegations in the child in need of care petition. After Kentucky declined jurisdiction over the children, Mother requested a hearing under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act to find out why. Mother was eventually extradited back to Kentucky on criminal charges. Her parental rights were terminated, and Mother appealed.
ISSUES: (1) Jurisdiction under the UCCJEA; (2) sufficiency of the evidence
HELD: There is no evidence that Kentucky ever attempted to initiate child in need of care proceedings for these children. But even in the absence of prior proceedings, Kansas could not acquire initial child-custody jurisdiction under the UCCJEA because Kansas was not the children's home state. However, the facts show that Kansas acquired jurisdiction on an emergency basis. Once Kentucky declined jurisdiction, Kansas was free to continue with this action. The district court's decision to terminate Mother's parental rights was supported by clear and convincing evidence and termination was in the children's best interests.
STATUTE: K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 23-37,102(b), -37,102(l), -37,201, -37,204, -37,204(a), -37,204(b), -37,204(c), 38-2203(b), -2250, -2269(a), -2269(b), -2269(c), -2271
ABUSE OF DISCRETION—CHILD IN NEED OF CARE
IN RE P.J.
SUMNER DISTRICT COURT—AFFIRMED
NO. 119,264—OCTOBER 19, 2018
FACTS: P.J. and siblings came in to State custody after they showed signs of neglect and Mother had unexplained injuries that were consistent with aggravated battery. Mother's children were temporarily removed from her and placed in the care of their respective fathers. The children were adjudicated to be in need of care and left in the care of their fathers. Mother appealed this dispositional order.
ISSUES: (1) Standard of review; (2) sufficiency of the evidence
HELD: There is little precedent to suggest the appropriate standard of review to use when reviewing a dispositional hearing. Because the issues considered at a dispositional hearing are components of a best interests of the child finding, an abuse of discretion standard of review is appropriate. The evidence from the hearing showed that the children were doing fine in placements with their fathers and that the continued placement was appropriate. Because the children are placed with a parent, the district court is not required to decide about reintegration with Mother.
STATUTE: K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 38-2201(b), -2250, -2252, -2253, -2255, -2255(a), -2255(b), -2255(c), -2255(e), -2256, -2257, -2264, -2264(j), -2269