Judge John M. Hunt


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Administration for Child Services filed a petition against respondents parents regarding Robin in which inadequate supervision was alleged. A court issued a fact-finding order against respondents directing them to comply with mental health treatment, among other things. ACS filed a second petition alleging derivative negligence in that respondents failed to comply with treatment that affected the care of their afterborn child, Virginia. Allegations included that mother missed multiple sessions of the substance abuse program she was ordered into, and father routinely left Virginia with her paternal grandfather without notice. The court found ACS adduced no evidence regarding father’s lack of compliance with any service plan. It stated a neglect finding, standing alone, did not establish that siblings of the child found to be neglected were derivatively neglected. The court ruled the original petition’s facts were not the facts herein, noting mother was compliant with all services at the time of Virginia’s birth. Also, the level of respondents’ participation in services was sufficient to show a change of circumstances and understanding on their parts, thus, there was no basis to find Virginia was derivatively neglected based on a prior finding. Thus, the petition was dismissed.