Sherman v. State, Department of Health & Social Services

[FAMILY LAW]

In Sherman v. State, Dep’t of Health and Social Services,[1] the supreme court held that parents who neglect to comply with Office of Child Services (“OCS”) developed case plans may be deemed to have failed to remedy previous abandonment of their child.[2] In 2012, OCS took custody of Sherman’s son, Kadin, after determining that both Kadin and his mother tested positive for cocaine.[3] OCS had previously removed Sherman’s other three children from his care for the exact same reason.[4] Soon thereafter, OCS developed a case plan wherein Sherman could regain custody of Kadin if he submitted to psychological tests, provided OCS with housing and income information and attended monthly case planning meetings.[5] After refusing to follow nearly every aspect of the case plan, the lower court terminated Sherman’s rights to Kadin.[6] On appeal, Sherman argued that he neither abandoned nor failed to remedy Kadin’s abandonment.[7] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that, in failing to participate in nearly every aspect of the case plan, Sherman had both abandoned and failed to remedy such abandonment[8] The court further reasoned that this conclusion was only strengthened by Sherman’s continued secrecy and recalcitrance towards OCS caseworkers.[9] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that parents who neglect to comply with OCS developed case plans may be deemed to have failed to remedy previous abandonment of their child.[10]

 



[1] 310 P.3d 943 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 946.

[3] Id.

[4] Id. at 946–47.

[5] Id. at 948.

[6] Id.

[7] Id.

[8] Id. at 951–52.

[9] Id.

[10] Id. at 946.

Sherman v. State, Department of Health & Social Services

[FAMILY LAW]

In Sherman v. State, Dep’t of Health and Social Services,[1] the supreme court held that parents who neglect to comply with Office of Child Services (“OCS”) developed case plans may be deemed to have failed to remedy previous abandonment of their child.[2] In 2012, OCS took custody of Sherman’s son, Kadin, after determining that both Kadin and his mother tested positive for cocaine.[3] OCS had previously removed Sherman’s other three children from his care for the exact same reason.[4] Soon thereafter, OCS developed a case plan wherein Sherman could regain custody of Kadin if he submitted to psychological tests, provided OCS with housing and income information and attended monthly case planning meetings.[5] After refusing to follow nearly every aspect of the case plan, the lower court terminated Sherman’s rights to Kadin.[6] On appeal, Sherman argued that he neither abandoned nor failed to remedy Kadin’s abandonment.[7] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that, in failing to participate in nearly every aspect of the case plan, Sherman had both abandoned and failed to remedy such abandonment[8] The court further reasoned that this conclusion was only strengthened by Sherman’s continued secrecy and recalcitrance towards OCS caseworkers.[9] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that parents who neglect to comply with OCS developed case plans may be deemed to have failed to remedy previous abandonment of their child.[10]

 



[1] 310 P.3d 943 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 946.

[3] Id.

[4] Id. at 946–47.

[5] Id. at 948.

[6] Id.

[7] Id.

[8] Id. at 951–52.

[9] Id.

[10] Id. at 946.