The People of the State of Colorado, Petitioner-Appellee, In the Interest of M.M. and P.M. III, Children, and Concerning P.M., Jr., Respondent-Appellant.
County District Court No. 16JV173 Honorable Ramsey L. Lama,
B. Slater, Cañon City, Colorado, for
L. Mazzucca, Guardian Ad Litem The Gasper Law Group, PLLC,
Kenneth H. Gray, Colorado Springs, Colorado, for
1 P.M., Jr. (father) appeals the trial court's summary
judgment order adjudicating his children dependent and
neglected. Because we conclude that father did not dispute
that the children were in an injurious environment and were
without proper parental care through no fault of a parent, we
affirm the summary judgment in part. However, we reverse the
portion of the summary judgment order that adjudicates the
children dependent and neglected on other statutory grounds.
Trial Court Proceeding
2 The Fremont County Department of Human Services (the
Department) filed a dependency and neglect petition after
completing a preliminary investigation as part of a domestic
relations proceeding between father and K.B. (mother). The
Department alleged that five-month-old M.M. and four-year-old
P.M. III (the children) lacked proper parental care through a
parent's acts or omissions, the children were without
proper care through no fault of a parent, and the
children's environment was injurious to their welfare.
3 The magistrate granted custody of the children to the
Department. But he left the children in both parents'
care with the provision that P.M. III would spend equal time
with each parent and M.M. would stay with mother while having
daily visits with father. ¶ 4 Mother admitted that the
children were dependent and neglected. Father, however,
denied the allegations in the petition and requested an
adjudicatory trial before a jury. ¶ 5 The Department
then moved to adjudicate the children dependent and neglected
by summary judgment. It identified undisputed facts,
including the following:
• father used marijuana around the children;
• a pipe that tested positive for opiates was found in
one of the children's clothing after a visit at
• father recently pleaded guilty to violating a
permanent protection order (which was issued based on
allegations of domestic violence by father) by threatening
• according to father, both children were in danger when
in mother's care;
• according to father, mother abused the children
emotionally and psychologically;
• according to father, mother used M.M.'s illnesses
as a means of control and alienation;
• according to father, the children needed protection
from mother; and
• according to father, mother was unfit.
6 Father's response to the motion included an affidavit
in which he disputed the allegations concerning his drug use,
domestic violence, and the violation of the protection order.
He did not dispute his earlier statements about mother.
7 Father asserted that there were genuine issues of material
fact and the Department was not entitled to summary judgment
based on mother's admission or the ...