Juvenile Officer v. Mo. Dep't of Soc. Servs. (In re Interest of L.C.), No. ED 102694

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtROBERT G. DOWD, Presiding Judge
Citation477 S.W.3d 171
Parties In the Interest of: L.C., a minor child. Juvenile Officer, Twenty–Second Judicial Circuit, Respondent, v. Missouri Department of Social Services, Children's Division, Appellant.
Decision Date24 November 2015
Docket NumberNo. ED 102694

477 S.W.3d 171

In the Interest of: L.C., a minor child.

Juvenile Officer, Twenty–Second Judicial Circuit, Respondent,
v.
Missouri Department of Social Services, Children's Division, Appellant.

No. ED 102694

Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, DIVISION ONE.

Filed: November 24, 2015


Matthew J. Laudano, Supreme Court Building, P.O. Box 899, Jefferson City, MO 65102, for Appellant.

Christopher R. Brown, 920 N. Vandeventer Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108, for Respondent.

ROBERT G. DOWD, Presiding Judge

The Children's Division of the Department of Social Services ("the Division") appeals from the trial court's judgment mandating that the Division provide all benefits and services to Cassandra Owens as would normally be given to a licensed foster care provider. We reverse and remand.

The juvenile court entered an order of temporary protective custody with respect to LC. Shortly thereafter, the juvenile court held a protective custody hearing, at which it determined L.C. was to remain within the court's jurisdiction and in the legal custody of the Division.

Subsequently, the juvenile officer filed a first amended petition regarding L.C., which sought to have the court enter any orders, judgments, or decrees as may be found necessary in the best interest of L.C. The first amended petition alleged that "said juvenile comes within the provisions of Section 211.031.1(1)" because she was residing with her paternal grandmother, Owens, when the case began. In addition, the petition stated L.C. would be at risk of neglect if she were returned to the custody of her mother at that time. L.C.'s father was incarcerated and was, as a result, unable to care for L.C.

The court held a hearing on the juvenile officer's first amended petition and determined L.C. was "without proper care, custody or support and, therefore, is a Juvenile[ ] within the provisions of Section 211.031.1." Thus, the court found it was in L.C.'s best interests to remain in protective custody and be in the legal custody of the Division. The court also noted Mother was not an appropriate custodian for L.C. and that Father also was not an appropriate custodian.

The court then entered an order and judgment of disposition in which it ordered that legal custody of the L.C. shall be granted to the Division for appropriate placement and that placement with Owens is an appropriate physical placement. In this ruling, the court also ordered the Division

477 S.W.3d 173

to comply with the specific orders on Exhibit C. In Exhibit C, the court ordered the Division to, among other things, "license Owens once traffic matters are cleared up."

The Division filed a motion to modify the court's order and judgment of disposition. In particular, the Division requested that the court rescind the provision of its judgment ordering the Division to license Owens. The Division also filed a motion to rehear this issue, which was granted.

At the hearing on the motion to modify, the Division established that Owens had previously applied for foster care licensure and had her application refused. Owens did not file a petition for judicial review of the Division's denial.

In its subsequent judgment, the court found the Division had previously denied a license to Owens on grounds that the court found were arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion. However, the court noted it did not have discretion to order the Division to issue such a license no matter how unfounded the denial, unless an appropriate administrative review had been filed by Owens. The Division also found that, at this point, because she did not appeal the denial of her foster care license, Owens does not have an adequate remedy at law to redress the denial of a foster care license. The court noted, however, that it retained the authority to order that necessary services be provided. The court held that placement with Owens under Section 210.565 is in L.C.'s best interests and it was necessary for L.C.'s welfare for services to be provided to L.C. and Owens as if Owens was a licensed child care provider. Thus, the court ordered the...

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1 practice notes
  • B.D. v. Mo. Dep't of Soc. Servs., WD84811
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • May 10, 2022
    ...assistance and services to her. As a result, the Children's Division is authorized to bring this appeal. See In Interest of L.C., 477 S.W.3d 171, 174 (Mo. App. E.D. 2015) (stating that the Children's Division was aggrieved in a case where it was ordered to pay benefits and services to a juv......
1 cases
  • B.D. v. Mo. Dep't of Soc. Servs., WD84811
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • May 10, 2022
    ...assistance and services to her. As a result, the Children's Division is authorized to bring this appeal. See In Interest of L.C., 477 S.W.3d 171, 174 (Mo. App. E.D. 2015) (stating that the Children's Division was aggrieved in a case where it was ordered to pay benefits and services to a juv......

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