The background facts of this case are as follows. I.S. was born on November 24, 2006, and Aaron and Kyra married about a month later. Aaron and Kyra subsequently divorced in December 2009. Aaron was awarded custody of I.S., and Kyra was given standard visitation. Neither Aaron nor Kyra has remarried.
This case was initiated on October 3, 2011, when appellee Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) filed a petition for emergency custody and dependency-neglect. Attached to the petition was an affidavit by DHS caseworker Tiffany Harper. The affidavit disclosed that Aaron had recently called the hotline and reported that I.S. had been abused by his mother and maternal stepgrandfather during one of his visits. Specifically, it was reported that Kyra and Ken had hit and poked I.S. in the head, and that Ken had sexually abused him. In a subsequent investigative interview with the child, I.S. reported that Ken pees in his mouth and that his mother hits him on the head with a plastic green bat. The affidavit asserted that both of these allegations had been investigated multiple times before and that each report of abuse was unsubstantiated, with I.S. recanting the prior allegations of abuse and saying that he lied. The affidavit further asserted that there were allegations that Aaron and his father, David, were fabricating their allegations of abuse to keep I.S. from visiting his mother. Ms. Harper indicated that DHS took an emergency hold on the child due to possible child maltreatment and concerns about both the home of the mother and the father. Ms. Harper stated that allegations of abuse in the mother’s home and allegations of mental abuse and cruelty in the father’s home, with no clear indication of who was telling the truth, made it impossible to leave I.S. in the care of either parent. On October 4, 2011, the day after DHS filed its petition, the trial court entered an ex parte order for emergency custody finding that immediate DHS custody was necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the child.
Judge(s): John B. Robbins
Jurisdiction: Arkansas Court of Appeals
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Court of Appeals Judge(s)|