The People of the State of Colorado, Petitioner-Appellee, In the Interest of C.S., a Child, and Concerning J.S., Respondent-Appellant.
County District Court No. 16JV35 Honorable W. Troy Hause,
T. Barker, County Attorney, Linda L. Goff, Assistant County
Attorney, Greeley, Colorado, for Petitioner-Appellee
Gregory Law Firm, LLC, Christopher S.P. Gregory, Fort
Collins, Colorado, for Respondent-Appellant
1 The Weld County Department of Human Services (Department)
filed a motion with the juvenile court to dismiss a
dependency and neglect petition involving C.S. (child). J.S.
(father) agreed to the dismissal, but he requested that
administrative findings of child abuse made by the Department
against him be expunged pursuant to sections
19-3-313.5(3)(f), C.R.S. 2016, and 19-3-505(6), C.R.S. 2016.
The court granted the Department's motion to dismiss and
denied father's request. The court also denied
father's motion for reconsideration.
2 Father appeals. We conclude that the orders from which
father seeks to appeal are not final and appealable. We thus
dismiss his appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
3 In March 2016, the Department filed a petition in
dependency and neglect based on a report that the child, then
four months old, had suffered injuries that were consistent
with being shaken. When the injuries occurred, B.F. (mother)
was at work and father, an emergency medical technician
(EMT), was caring for the child. Father reported that the
child had choked while being fed and had become unresponsive.
Father stated that he called for emergency assistance, gave
the child blows on the back, and began cardiopulmonary
resuscitation. He denied shaking the child.
4 The juvenile court placed the child in mother's
protective custody and ordered father to have only supervised
visits with the child.
5 Father denied the allegations in the petition and requested
a jury trial. In the meantime, mother made a no-fault
admission that the child was without proper care; the court
entered a deferred adjudication as to her.
6 The juvenile court scheduled father's five-day jury
trial for July 2016.
7 The parties filed their lists of witnesses and exhibits in
June. Father's list included several medical experts who
were prepared to testify that the medical records they had
reviewed were not consistent with the theory that father had
shaken the child, but rather suggested that the child's
injuries were the result of natural causes. He also
identified coworkers and others who would testify to his love
for the child, his parenting abilities, his trustworthiness,
and his ability to handle stressful situations. Father filed
a number of motions in limine to prohibit the introduction of
some evidence, limit the use of other evidence, and place
additional restrictions on the manner in which the Department
could present its case.
8 The parties appeared before the juvenile court for a
combined pretrial readiness conference as to father and
dispositional hearing as to mother. The Department
immediately informed the court that it had concluded that
mother was "perfectly appropriate" and
"adequately protective, " and accordingly, it was
recommending that mother be allowed to "withdraw her
plea, " and that the case be dismissed as to mother and
father. The child's guardian ad litem (the GAL)
9 Father stated that he would agree to the case being
dismissed "with a rather large caveat." He
requested the court to make it clear that it was dismissing
the case because the Department had stated or taken the
position that it could not proceed with the evidence that it
had. He contended that under section 19-3-505(6), such a
result would obligate the Department to expunge the
administrative findings made during the course of the case.
This was ...