In re Interest of Kamille C. and Kamiya C.

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In re Interest of Kamille C. and Kamiya C.

Caselaw No.
302 Neb. 226
Filed on
Friday, February 8, 2019

Summary:  

In this case the mother of the Kamille and Kamiya appeals a bridge order giving physical and legal custody to the father.  The mother argues that since DHHS conceded that the children could safely be placed back into her care and custody the bridge order was inappropriate.  The Court finds that bridge orders are not final orders and dismisses for lack of jurisdiction.

On July 11, 2017, a petition was filed under Section 43-247(a) against the mother as to Kamille, Kamiya and three siblings that are not the subject of this appeal.  On July 13, 2017, the juvenile court issued an ex parte order of temporary emergency custody of all the children with DHHS and this was ordered to continue after a hearing held on July 19, 2017.  Mom admitted to the allegations in the petition on October 6, 2017 and the court ordered Kamille and Kamiya be placed with their father.  Mom was ordered reasonable rights of supervised visits.  A dispositional order was issued on November 21, 2017.  The court ordered that the children remain in the temporary legal custody of DHHS while mom worked on a permanency plan for reunification.  Kamille and Kamiya’s placement was to continue with their father.  At a review hearing held on January 10, 2018, the court ruled that the children remain in DDHS’s custody and that Kamille and Kamiya remain as placed with their father.  On April 24, 2018, DHHS motioned the court to place a sibling of Kamille and Kamiya’s back with the mother.  DHHS also informed the court that there was a pending hearing regarding DHHS’s request to have an additional sibling returned to mom’s care.  The caseworker testified that mom was complying with the case plan, testing negative for drugs and complying with her outpatient services. The father moved for a bridge order under section 43-246.02, which was heard on May 24, 2018.    On May 29, 2018, the juvenile court issued a bridge order finding that is was in the best interest of Kamille and Kamiya to be in the legal and physical of their father with visitation ordered for the mother; the court also transferred jurisdiction of Kamille and Kamiya to district court.  The mother appealed.

Because this is the first time the Court has addressed a bridge order the Court discusses the respective roles of juvenile and district courts and the newly enacted statutory scheme.  Ultimately the Court held that bridge orders address only matters of legal and physical custody and parenting time when a juvenile has been placed by the juvenile court with a legal parent, in essence merely preserving the status quo pending a further order and therefore not final.  The Court dismissed the mother’s appeal holding that bridge orders are not final orders for the purposes of Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-1902.