KAISER / LAWLESS, LLP
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Practice Notes

Recent Court Decisions & Updates

KAISER LAW OFFICE WINS APPEAL, CHILD RETURNED HOME TO FAMILY

The Kaiser Law Office is continuously fighting for the rights of children and parents across Missouri and Kansas.  On October 6, 2015, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District reversed the judgment of the Clay County, Missouri Circuit Court, concluding that "the juvenile court's exercise of jurisdiction over the Child was improper."  

In its decision, the Court of Appeals made the following findings:

  1. The disability or disease of a parent shall not constitute a basis for a determination that a child is a child in need of care or for the removal of custody of a child from the parent without a specific showing that there is a causal relation between the disability or disease and harm to the child.

  2. Likewise, the juvenile office presented no evidence demonstrating that Father was unable or unwilling to care for his other children. It merely proved that they were not in his care, but it failed to prove why. Thus, this could not serve as a basis for continued jurisdiction.

  3. Past drug usage, alone, does not demonstrate that Father would be unable to care for Child. The juvenile office must demonstrate that Father’s drug usage interferes with his ability to parent Child.

  4. The court needed to view the evidence as to Mother and Father independently and not consider evidence against Mother as detrimental to Father. Each parent has parental rights with respect to each child, and each child has filial rights with respect to each parent. They may not be lumped together and disposed of wholesale with a single stroke. Each relationship should be considered separately. 

The full text of the opinion can be reviewed through this link: 
https://www.courts.mo.gov/file.jsp?id=92899

Thankfully, these parents have finally received the justice they deserve. They have been reunited with their son and released from the scrutiny of the juvenile court system.    

If you are facing allegations that jeopardize the custody of your children, contact Ryan F. Kaiser and the Kaiser Law Office to discuss your options and protect your rights as a parent.

Tel. (816) 645-5799         email: attorney@kaiserlawkc.com

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