IN RE NEVEAH W. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 2, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Joseph F. Whalen, Acting Solicitor General; Alexander S. Rieger and Kathryn A. Baker, Assistant Attorney Generals, for the appellant, Department of Children’s Services.

Attorneys 2:

Laura D. Rogers, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Marie W. and Jason W.

W. Ray Glasgow, Memphis, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.

Judge(s): STAFFORD

This extraordinary appeal arises from the trial court’s placement of a minor child while the minor child remains in the legal custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (?DCS?). The minor child was removed by DCS from the home of her Foster Parents, who had cared for her almost since birth, after allegations that the Foster Parents had abused one of their other children. The minor child’s guardian ad litem filed an emergency petition seeking the return of the child to the Foster Parents’ home, or alternatively, for an award of legal custody to the Foster Parents. After a hearing wherein DCS, the Foster Parents, and the GAL presented evidence, the trial court ordered that the child be returned to the Foster Parents’ home, but declined to remove the child from DCS’s legal custody. On appeal, we hold that a trial court may not direct placement of a child in the legal custody of DCS. We reverse the ruling of the trial court and remand for further proceedings.