In re Shaun S.

Conn. App.

July, 2012

ORDER OF TEMPORARY CUSTODY APPEAL

Respondent mother appealed from an order of the trial court sustaining the ex-parte orders for temporary custody of the minor children.  Respondent mother essentially claimed that because the allegations contained in DCF’s neglect petition and corresponding application for Order for Temporary Custody pre-dated the request for ex-parte OTC by several weeks, that the court should have provided the respondent a pre-removal hearing, rather than a post-removal hearing, and that the court’s failure to provide this option to the respondent violated her due process rights.  The respondent claimed that although C.G.S. 46b-129(b) permits the court to provide a post-removal hearing, that a priorhearing is required by the statute “except in the most urgent of circumstances.”   The appellate court did not ultimately address the court’s discretion to mandate a pre or post removal hearing.  Instead, the appellate court determined that the respondent had not adequately briefed the issue and therefore the claim was deemed to be “abandoned.”

The court reminded that it has “consistently … held that [a]nalysis, rather than mere abstract assertion, is required in order to avoid abandoning an issue by failure to brief the issue properly. . . . [F]or this court judiciously and efficiently to consider claims of error raised on appeal . . . the parties must clearly and fully set forth their arguments in their briefs.”

The court also rejected respondent mother’s argument that the court failed to adequately consider evidence that the respondent had ameloriated some of the dangers that led to the ex-parte OTC, including moving to a shelter location, and t hat the court was obligated to consider whether the OTC remained necessary given the mother’s change in circumstances.  The appellate court held that there was ample evidence in the record to indicate that the court considered events that occurred subsequent to the granting of the ex-parte OTC.

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