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In re B.P.

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division

April 17, 2018

IN THE INTEREST OF: B.P., Plaintiff, JUVENILE OFFICER, Respondent,
v.
H.P. (MOTHER), Appellant.

          APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COLE COUNTY, MISSOURI THE HONORABLE JOHN B. BERKEMEYER, JUDGE

          Before: Victor C. Howard, Presiding Judge, Cynthia L. Martin, Judge and Gary D. Witt, Judge

          VICTOR C. HOWARD, JUDGE

         H.P. (Mother) appeals from the circuit court's order temporarily suspending her contact with her son, B.P. She contends that substantial evidence did not support the order. The appeal is dismissed.

         Background

         This is an ongoing juvenile case. It began in October 2016 when the Juvenile Officer filed a delinquency petition alleging that twelve-year-old B.P. committed the class D felony of tampering with a motor vehicle and the class B misdemeanor of property damage. An adjudication and disposition hearing was held in January 2017, and B.P. admitted the allegations. The circuit court entered judgment assuming jurisdiction over B.P. pursuant to section 211.031.1, [1] making B.P. a ward of the court, placing him in the custody of Mother under the supervision of Mother and the Juvenile Officer, placing him on formal probation, and ordering B.P. to abide by the special conditions of intensive supervision services, community service, and counseling as arranged by his parents.

         In March 2017, the Juvenile Officer filed a motion to modify the order of disposition alleging that B.P. committed the class B misdemeanor of property damage in January 2017. The Juvenile Officer further alleged neglect and failure to support by Mother. Specifically, it alleged that Mother is unable to provide proper supervision as B.P. repeatedly absconds from home for extended periods of time, Mother refuses to assist Juvenile Officer or law enforcement when B.P. absconds from home, Mother has been unable to provide counseling for B.P. as ordered by the court, Mother has failed to follow through with proper procedures for homeschooling, and Mother has failed to report the child as a runaway on multiple occasions. The circuit court entered an order of protective custody ordering B.P. immediately delivered to the legal and physical custody of the Children's Division with visitation to Mother as agreed by the Children's Division, the Guardian Ad Litem, and the Juvenile Officer.

         An adjudication and disposition hearing was held the next month. Following the hearing, the circuit court entered judgment on April 21, 2017, finding that all of the allegations regarding Mother in the motion to modify were proven by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence and assuming jurisdiction over B.P. pursuant to section 211.031.1(1) and making him a ward of the court. It placed B.P. in the legal and physical custody of the Children's Division with the conditions that the Children's Division provides efforts toward reunification and visitation with Mother as agreed by the Children's Division, Guardian Ad Litem, and Juvenile Officer. Mother filed a motion to reconsider the judgment six days later.

         On June 13, 2017, the Juvenile Officer filed a motion to temporarily suspend contact with Mother alleging that B.P. expressed that he doesn't want contact with Mother, post interaction with Mother, B.P. displays an escalation of negative behaviors, and Mother verbally expressed her unwillingness to comply with the family support team's written service agreement including individual therapy and appropriate verbal interaction with B.P. On June 20, 2017, a hearing was held on the motion to suspend contact along with the Guardian Ad Litem' motion to change of placement seeking immediate placement of B.P. with his father on a trial home placement. That day, the circuit court granted the motion to temporarily suspend contact with Mother and the motion for trial home placement with B.P.'s father pending outcome of a background check through the Children's Division.

         The next day, June 21, 2017, Mother filed her notice of appeal appealing the April 21, 2017 judgment.

         Thereafter, in three case review hearings on July 11, 2017, August 8, 2017, and September 5, 2017, the circuit court continued trial home placement of B.P. with his father in conjunction with no contact with Mother.[2]

         On December 5, 2017, the circuit court conducted a permanency hearing and entered an order finding that the permanency plan is reunification. It found that B.P. remains placed in the legal and physical custody of the Children's Division and his father with continuation of trial home placement with his father. The court further ordered that the Children's Division provide efforts toward reunification and reinstated visitation with Mother as agreed by the Children's Division, Guardian Ad Litem, and Juvenile Officer.

         Later that month, the Juvenile Officer filed a motion to modify the previous order of disposition alleging that B.P.'s father refuses to provide proper care, custody, or control of B.P. and has requested he be removed from his home. The circuit court entered an order of protective custody ordering B.P. immediately delivered to the legal and physical custody of the Children's Division with visitation to Mother as agreed by the Children's Division, the Guardian Ad Litem, and the Juvenile Officer.

         On January 5, 2018, Mother filed a motion for reconsideration of placement seeking placement of B.P. with her. A hearing was held on the motion on February 6, 2018. The circuit court ordered that B.P. is continued as a ward of the court and released him into the physical custody of Mother. It further ordered GPS monitoring of B.P. and that Mother enroll B.P. ...


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