In re Krystal J.

Connecticut Appellate Court

88 Conn. App. 311 (2005)

April 05, 2005
In a short yet convincing decision, the appellate court upheld the denial of a respondent mother’s motion for revocation of commitment of her three children on the grounds that the mother refused therapy and treatment, as well as failing to take responsibility for the children’s removal from her custody. The case stems from events that occurred in August 2000 when the Department of Children and Families (“Department”) invoked a ninety-six hour hold on the mother’s three children and their older brother in response to the Department’s investigation into allegations of physical abuse toward the older brother and verbal abuse toward the three siblings. The trial court granted the Department’s request for temporary custody in September 2000, and the three younger children were committed to the Department in July 2001. Upon commitment, the court ordered the mother to engage in individual and family counseling for anger management, which she steadfastly refused to do. In addition, the mother refused to permit the employees of the Department to enter her home, or the employees of New York’s child protection agency to enter her New York home to determine whether the residence was an appropriate place to rear her children.

In her appeal, the mother contended that she had no need for treatment and thus refused to under counseling or therapy save for the court ordered anger management therapy she underwent pursuant to a criminal court proceeding (undertaken to avoid criminal sanctions). The record was replete with testimony from two mental health professionals as well as a counselor who provided sufficient evidence en masse from which the court could have found that the mother had not addressed adequately her psychological and psychiatric issues relating to her anger problem. In addition, the mother’s claim that the Department’s efforts at reunification were not appropriate fell on deaf ears due to the numerous instances where the mother refused to allow inspection, home studies and assessments, visitation services, etc. The mother’s pattern of refusing the Department’s offers and refusal of services led the court to conclude that further efforts at unification by the Department were not appropriate.

The case may be accessed by going to the Judicial Branch’s website atwww.jud.state.ct.us/external/supapp/Cases/AROap/AP88/88AP229.pdf.

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