Home   Federal Cases   State Cases   News   Search   Cart   Log In 
 
Search 591,340 Cases and Articles on TJV!
 
Arkansas State Categories







Stoliker v Arkansas Department of Human Services

Case No. CA 12-155 (AR Ct. App., Jun. 27, 2012)

This is a dependency-neglect case involving a five-year-old boy named I.S. The child’s parents are appellant Aaron Stoliker and Kyra Stoliker, who is not a party to this appeal. Also involved in this case are the paternal grandfather, David, and the maternal stepgrandfather, Ken, with whom I.S. has had considerable contact. Aaron is appealing from an adjudication and disposition order entered on December 8, 2011, wherein I.S. was adjudicated dependent-neglected. Aaron’s primary argument is that the trial court erred in removing the child from his home based on its finding of dependency-neglect. We affirm.

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)
Rhonda Wood

 
Court of Appeals Judge(s)
Raymond Abramson
John Robbins
Larry Vaught

 

CUSTOM EMAIL ALERTS!

With your FREE registration, you can select an unlimited number of Alert categories for daily, weekly or monthly deliveries of the Federal and State Cases most relevant
to you!

Click Here to sign up.

 



Click the maroon box above for a formatted PDF of the decision.
appeal from the faulkner encouraged to report negative behavior associated with his mother’s home. in one it was undisputed that aaron stoliker (father) and his dad (paternal grandfather) cruelty to a juvenile against aaron and david. in investigator sutter’s opinion, the repeated while aaron contends that there was a lack of any observable and substantial he has impairments in relation to his current parental conflict issues and visitation schedule. found that aaron and david would record inappropriate interviews with the child that were to tell the truth, this time.” this seems to indicate that a conversation has occurred not what you told me or grandpa, why aren’t you telling the truth, i.s. stop lying.” and that each report of abuse was unsubstantiated, with i.s. recanting the prior allegations nothing to step in and console the child or stop the paternal grandfather from yelling vaught, c.j., and abramson, j., agree. at the child. the minor child clearly knew the videotape was playing. the minor 6 aaron stoliker argues that the trial court erred in its finding that i.s. had been abused. child’s parents are appellant aaron stoliker and kyra stoliker, who is not a party to this traumatizing to the minor child. the questions were leading, threatening at times, we further note that the trial court’s finding of dependency-neglect was also premised mother’s home and actions of mother and others in her home. there is no question suggested what his answers should be to their questions during their interviews. aaron affirmed punished by david while aaron did nothing to comfort the trembling child. these findings suspected abuse, there was no evidence of any injury to the child’s emotional development would then ask the father, “state what you heard him say” and the father would state grandmother, who had been given temporary custody of i.s., discontinued taking i.s. to the trial court further found that aaron neglected i.s. by failing to protect i.s. from the hit you, tell ms. wendy what we talked about in the car,” and then provide details for i.s. the reviewing court is left with a definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been made. this case was initiated on october 3, 2011, when appellee arkansas department of were made af,ter i.s. had told them specific details about being abused. cite as 2012 ark. app. 415 2 lap. the paternal grandfather starts yelling at the child that he tried to kiss his penis. that the trial court did not clearly err in its finding of neglect based on the same evidence on what to say during their sessions. ms. blackwood testified that kyra was also present their questioning of the child was simply aimed at getting to the truth. aaron further posits arkansas court of appeals appropriately with i.s. ms. blackwood stated that she requested that david stop attending i.s. should the need arise. was a prior true report on aaron and david for mentally abusing i.s. ms. harper testified that cite as 2012 ark. app. 415 7 cite as 2012 ark. app. 415 thought that i.s. had suffered mental damage from what had been done to him. saying what his dad has said. i.s.’s dad will often reprimand him by saying, “that is during her counseling of i.s., and she said that kyra was cooperative and behaved mother. aaron said that he had spoken with i.s. about the alleged abuse, and that aaron’s 8 id. thought i.s. was being abused. ms. blackwood has counseled i.s. frequently and she kyra and ken, and he said that every report was unsubstantiated. however, aaron stated on the paternal grandfather not being in the home, and the trial court ordered that there be i.s. was being psychologically distressed at times and that the coaching was not actions, there was a true prior finding by investigators that aaron and david subjected i.s. if the trial court certifies that there is no reason for delay of an appeal in accordance with pees in his mouth and that his mother hits him on the head with a plastic green bat. the provide stability and be in i.s.’s best interest. aaron was given standard visitation contingent with kyra stoliker (mother). it is undisputed that the father and paternal cite as 2012 ark. app. 415 dependency-neglect determination. furthermore, we have little hesitation in concluding servs. v. mcdonald, 80 ark. app. 104, 91 s.w.3d 536 (2002). a finding is clearly erroneous to and my head turned the wrong way and i didn’t mean to touch your penis. all serious harm as a result of abuse and neglect by aaron as well as aaron’s father. the trial a probable-cause hearing was held on october 5, 2011, and tiffany harper testified this is a dependency-neglect case involving a five-year-old boy named i.s. the 9 aaron testified that both he and his father had made several calls to report suspected upset with him and wants to please the important people in his life. she thought that if kyra and ken included sexual penetration as well as cuts, bruises, and welts resulting from stated that she has many family members available and ready to take temporary custody of stepgrandfather, ken, with whom i.s. has had considerable contact. aaron is appealing from we hold that issues regarding the trial court’s disposition are not properly before us. cite as 2012 ark. app. 415 arkansas supreme court rule 6-9(a)(1)(b) permits an appeal from a disposition order only kyra’s compliance in this case, and that kyra was cooperating and doing what was asked of the sessions because he would coach i.s. and say things such as, “tell ms. wendy that mom cite as 2012 ark. app. 415 best interest to return to his father full time. trembling. therapist, wendy blackwood, did not testify that there was no impairment. she testified that ms. harper expressed concerns about both of i.s.’s parents, but she said that she did to provide reunification services to aaron and kyra. ms. harper said that the goal of dhs were supported by the evidence and confirmed by the video recordings. because of their counseling, and the trial court found that custody with her could not continue. the trial appellees on december 8, 2011, the trial court entered an adjudication and disposition order. found that it was damaging to the child. the trial court concluded that it was not in i.s.’s observations: “by observable and substantial impairment of the juvenile’s ability to function within that placing custody with kyra is not in the child’s best interest and serves only to punish § 9-27-303(3)(a)(iii) (supp. 2011). aaron asserts that the testimony of i.s.’s therapist, aaron admitted that there had been two prior true findings of abuse against him and his dad participates in sessions he often encourages i.s. to talk about being hurt by his john b. robbins, judge coaching and coercion of i.s. amounted to mental and emotional abuse, placing i.s. in there had been no findings of any neglect or abuse against kyra other than the finding of the primary point raised by aaron on appeal is that the trial court erred in allegations that kyra and ken had abused the child, and she was also concerned because there 3 approved the home study, permanent custody would be given to kyra because this would placement. in the absence of a rule 54(b) certification, a disposition order is not final and due to possible child maltreatment and concerns about both the home of the mother and the in the adjudication and disposition order, the trial court noted that i.s.’s paternal there are times when he becomes very anxious, as evidenced by hiding his face, abused. aaron thought that he or his father had made about nine reports of abuse against previous to the session about the subject matter to be discussed. i.s. often appears to that this was one of the worst cases she has investigated as far as coaching a child, and she cite as 2012 ark. app. 415 occurred is proof the minor child has been abused. harm as a result of abuse or neglect. ark. code ann. § 9-27-303(18)(a)(ii) & (v) (supp. appeal. also involved in this case are the paternal grandfather, david, and the maternal human services and minor aaron and his father, david, were fabricating their allegations of abuse to keep i.s. from division iii the corner as punishment, and that aaron stood by while his father yelled at i.s., who was stated in her affidavit regarding possible abuse. ms. harper was concerned about aaron’s 12 opinion delivered june 27, 2012 the juvenile’s normal range of performance and behavior” as required by ark. code ann. endangering the welfare of a minor or permitting abuse of a child. investigator clark said try to please his dad by repeating or agreeing with his dad’s description of i.s.’s 4 no contact between i.s. and either of his grandfathers. the trial court also ordered that there kyra testified at the probable-cause hearing that she was presently employed as a live- evidenced by observable and substantial impairment of the juvenile’s ability to the suspected abuse by the child’s mother and maternal stepgrandfather, and submits that adjudicating i.s. dependent-neglected. this finding is appealable pursuant to arkansas emotionally traumatizing to i.s., with one of the recordings showing i.s. being yelled at and the trial court expressed its concern that the inappropriate questioning would continue and removing the child from his home based on its finding of dependency-neglect. we affirm. kyra testified that she has been cooperating with ms. harper and that she wants i.s. of the tapes, the minor child ran up and placed his head in the paternal grandfather’s court’s findings of abuse and dependency-neglect were erroneous. & (iv) (supp. 2011). imminent danger of being permanently mentally abused. v. that when i.s. tells him about abuse, he has to report it to the hotline or else get in trouble. father for putting i.s. through the interview process. aaron stated that his father has lived 2011). on appeal from a trial court’s ruling in a dependency-neglect case, we will not the trial court found that i.s. was dependent-neglected because he was at substantial risk of adjudicated dependent-neglected. aaron’s primary argument is that the trial court erred in standard visitation. neither aaron nor kyra has remarried. abuse against i.s. investigator sutter stated that all of the allegations were unsubstantiated, psychologically or emotionally good for i.s. and in a written report ms. blackwood wrote: interviews have caused him psychological distress, as well as behavioral and sleep problems. appealable. see taylor, supra. impairment in i.s.’s ability to function normally, we conclude otherwise. investigator clark 10 i.s.’s mother. the trial court ordered a home study of kyra’s home and stated that, if it divorced in december 2009. aaron was awarded custody of i.s., and kyra was given cite as 2012 ark. app. 415 finally, aaron takes issue with the disposition ordered by the trial court wherein the this is going on with the video recorder going and father standing in the room doing dep’t of human servs., 2010 ark. app. 725. therefore, aaron cannot now challenge the trial honorable rhonda k. wood, ms. blackwood stated that david can be intimidating, and that i.s. does not want people reported that kyra and ken had hit and poked i.s. in the head, and that ken had sexually to live with her. kyra stated that she has never abused her son in any way. she further stated reverse the trial court’s findings unless they are clearly erroneous, giving due regard to the supreme court rule 6-9(a)(1)(a). of anything that would keep the trial court from ordering temporary custody to kyra. routinely questioned the minor child when the minor child returned from visitation with him to help care for i.s., and that he permits his father to interview i.s. and record the visiting his mother. ms. harper indicated that dhs took an emergency hold on the child the background facts of this case are as follows. i.s. was born on november 24, the day after dhs filed its petition, the trial court entered an ex parte order for emergency was reunification with aaron. however, ms. harper also stated that she was pleased with either the transcript or addendum before us. nor has there been any permanent custody court placed i.s. in the custody of dhs and authorized an immediate trial placement with ms. blackwood, demonstrated that i.s. had no functional impairment, and that the trial welfare of the child. the basis of abuse. aaron himself acknowledged making repeated allegations of abuse against on october 11, 2011, the trial court entered a probable-cause order, finding that judge aaron was coaching the child. ms. harper stated that there was a danger of mental abuse if a dependent-neglected juvenile includes any juvenile who is at substantial risk of serious trial court’s conclusion that i.s. was dependent-neglected, including the following against the mother, all of which were unfounded except for an environmental-neglect grandfather then announces that he is going to call the hot-line again . . . as if what his mother’s custody. the records showed a total of seven hotline calls raising allegations no. ca 12-155 cite as 2012 ark. app. 415 father had made video recordings of some of those conversations. these recordings were aaron stated that he had concerns that i.s. was being abused during visitation with i.s.’s § 9-27-303(3)(a)(iii) (supp. 2011), which provides that the definition of “abuse” includes: attached to the petition was an affidavit by dhs caseworker tiffany harper. the affidavit immediate danger. however, probable-cause orders are not appealable. taylor v. arkansas conversations. aaron acknowledged that in one of those recordings his father placed i.s. in appellant abuse allegedly perpetrated by i.s.’s mother and stepgrandfather. aaron said that the calls an adjudication and disposition order entered on december 8, 2011, wherein i.s. was that even assuming that he or his father were persistent in interviewing i.s. regarding the crying, whining, becoming oppositional and refusing to talk. this typically occurs if danger of being permanently mentally abused. and contrary to aaron’s argument, i.s.’s trial court’s opportunity to judge the credibility of the witnesses. arkansas dep’t of human tiffany harper, the dhs worker assigned to this case, testified that dhs continued injury to a juvenile’s intellectual, emotional, or psychological development as abuse perpetrated by aaron’s father, failing to provide a home free from emotional trauma, by his mother and maternal stepgrandfather during one of his visits. specifically, it was custody finding that immediate dhs custody was necessary to protect the health, safety, and she investigated the allegations of abuse. investigator clark stated that the allegations of abuse and saying that he lied. the affidavit further asserted that there were allegations that the juvenile code requires proof by a preponderance of the evidence in dependency- the child stood in his diaper crying in the corner and he kept saying i didn’t mean mother hurting him. however, he often becomes agitated especially if he is not arkansas department of function within the juvenile’s normal range of performance and behavior[.] neglect proceedings. ark. code ann. § 9-27-325(h)(2)(b) (supp. 2011). the definition of aaron was coaching i.s. and repeatedly telling him that he had been abused. david were removed from the household, aaron would do very well parenting his child. child crying and saying it was an accident that he placed his head in his paternal thought that i.s. had been mentally damaged as a result. investigator sutter testified that the expressed concerns about both aaron and david, stating that they seemed to be coaching i.s. finding in 2009 that has since been removed from the registry due to the age of the finding. at that hearing. ms. harper stated that dhs took emergency custody of i.s. for the reasons not know whether i.s. had been abused. ms. harper indicated that during previous human services (dhs) filed a petition for emergency custody and dependency-neglect. trial court’s finding of neglect, and this alone would compel affirmance of the trial court’s conceded that he did not believe that the questioning shown in the recordings was appropriate, but he said that they were trying to get proof of i.s. saying that he had been interest to remain outside the custody of his parents. temporary custody of i.s. was placed “i didn’t mean to kiss your penis.” it was uncomfortable for the court to watch this affidavit asserted that both of these allegations had been investigated multiple times before in nanny, but that she soon expected to get a full-time job at a company called molex. kyra supporting its finding of abuse. court specifically found that i.s. had suffered emotional abuse pursuant to ark. code ann. 5 and failing to provide for i.s.’s emotional needs. aaron does not specifically challenge the father. ms. harper stated that allegations of abuse in the mother’s home and allegations of aaron disputes the trial court’s finding that he or his father coached or badgered i.s. about supervised by dhs. additionally, the trial court ordered that there be no contact between in this court’s mind that the questioning and videotaping was emotionally aaron stoliker as an initial issue in this appeal, aaron stoliker argues that there was insufficient 2006, and aaron and kyra married about a month later. aaron and kyra subsequently trial court rejected dhs’s recommendation to reunify the child with him. aaron contends kyra and ken, and said that each time the allegations were unsubstantiated. the trial court the truth, made it impossible to leave i.s. in the care of either parent. on october 4, 2011, and it was very clear that the minor child was being badgered, coached and child keeps saying “i didn’t mean to touch your penis.” the paternal grandfather [no. jv-11-535] her. ms. harper testified that she has visited kyra’s home, that it was appropriate, and that probable cause existed to protect i.s. from severe maltreatment and that it was in his best 11 disclosed that aaron had recently called the hotline and reported that i.s. had been abused 13 when, although there is evidence to support the finding, after reviewing all of the evidence grandfather’s lap and accidentally touched his penis (through his shorts). the paternal investigation, investigator clark concluded that this was a “horrible” case and that i.s.’s that she has gained employment at molex and has moved into her own home. aaron acknowledged making numerous prior calls to report suspected abuse of i.s. while in children cite as 2012 ark. app. 415 and that as a result of the investigation she made a true finding of extreme and repeated court’s finding of probable cause to remove i.s. from his custody. cite as 2012 ark. app. 415 included the mother anally penetrating i.s. with toys and urinating and defecating on i.s.’s cite as 2012 ark. app. 415 mental abuse and cruelty in the father’s home, with no clear indication of who was telling father was at fault. she recommended that charges be filed against both aaron and david for affirmed. investigating the allegations of abuse. investigator sutter testified that the allegations against the adjudication and disposition order contains exhaustive findings supporting the suffer emotional damage. ms. blackwood also said that i.s.’s repeated investigatory (emphasis added.) deferring to the trial court to judge credibility, on this record we cannot to extreme and repeated cruelty. on its alternate finding of neglect based on aaron’s failure to protect i.s. from david’s abuse mother. this is usually phrased as “i.s. tell ms. wendy the truth,” “you promised say that the trial court’s finding that aaron and his father abused i.s. was clearly erroneous. abused him. in a subsequent investigative interview with the child, i.s. reported that ken joni clark is a criminal investigator with the faulkner county sheriff’s office, and arkansas rule of civil procedure 54(b). however, there is no rule 54(b) certification in feet. the allegations also included purported sexual abuse by ken. after conducting her testified that this was one of the worst cases she had seen as far as coaching a child, and she aaron. ms. blackwood stated that this was confusing to i.s. and that if this continued i.s. could the subject matter of the session is regarding abuse allegations about his mother. if his admitted into evidence. according to aaron, neither he nor his father badgered i.s. or environmental neglect more than two years earlier. ms. harper said that she did not know investigator tollece sutter of the arkansas state police was also involved in aaron stoliker testified first at the adjudication hearing held on november 29, 2011. evidence for the trial court to enter the probable-cause order continuing the removal of i.s. investigations there was evidence, as confirmed by i.s.’s therapist wendy blackwood, that i.s. and either grandfather. county circuit court, with his paternal grandmother, holly stoliker, and both parents were given visitation we hold that the trial court did not clearly err in finding i.s. dependent-neglected on cite as 2012 ark. app. 415 grandfather would then record the minor child on video, asking questions about the be no further interviews or coaching of the minor child. coaching and coercion amounted to mental and emotional abuse that placed i.s. in imminent and failing to provide for i.s.’s emotional needs. see ark. code ann. § 9-27-303(36)(a)(iii) wendy blackwood, i.s.’s therapist, stated that aaron brought i.s. to her because he from his home because emergency custody was not necessary to protect the child from


All Content © 2007-2012 The Judicial View, L.L.C. All Right Reserved.
About The Judicial View ®  | Privacy Policy   |  Terms of Use   |  Contact Us  |  Advertise