The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Petitioner-Appellee,
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Jefferson County District Court No. 17JV31, Honorable Ann
Gail Meinster, Judge
G. Wakeman, County Attorney, Sarah L. Oviatt, Assistant
County Attorney, Golden, Colorado, for Petitioner-Appellee
M. Richett, Guardian Ad Litem
Ingelhart Law Office LLC, Kimberly A. Ingelhart, Glenwood
Springs, Colorado, for Respondent-Appellant D.B.
Morgan Law Office, Kris P. Morgan, Colorado Springs,
Colorado, for Respondent-Appellant R.N.
Mother, D.B., and father, R.N., appeal the juvenile courts
judgment terminating their parent-child relationships with
A.N-B., I.N-B., I.N-B., and A.N-B. We affirm.
The family has been involved with child protective services
agencies on two prior occasions. In January 2014, the Adams
County Department of Human Services opened a voluntary case
with the family after one of the boys suffered a fractured
femur while in fathers care. The child was then six months
old. The injury was not explained. The case was closed in
In September 2014, the same child suffered another fractured
femur and fractured ribs. At the same time, the other twin
was found to have healing fractures to his ribs, skull, and
forearm. The Adams County Department of Human Services opened
a dependency and neglect case. The case was closed with
mother having full custody of the children, supervised
visitation for father, and a permanent protection order
barring father from contact with the boy who had suffered
In this case, in January 2017, the Jefferson County Division
of Children, Youth, and Families filed a petition in
dependency and neglect after mother left the three-year-old
twins home alone for over six hours. Neighbors reported that
the children were screaming and crying. Police arrived to
find the children locked in a bedroom with no food or water.
The room smelled of urine, and the home was extremely dirty.
The Division removed the children and placed them with their
maternal grandfather, where they remained throughout the
The juvenile court adjudicated the children dependent and
neglected. In March 2017, the court adopted treatment plans
for the parents. On August 28, 2017, the guardian ad litem
(GAL) filed a motion to terminate the parent-child
relationships. Over three days in December 2017 and January
2018, the court conducted an evidentiary hearing on the
motion to terminate. In January 2018, the court terminated
both parents parental rights.
Juvenile Court Did Not Violate Mothers Attorney-Client
Mother contends that the juvenile court violated her
attorney-client privilege when it required disclosure of a
report drafted by mothers expert and admitted the report and
the experts testimony at the termination hearing. We
Before the hearing, mother requested appointment of an expert
in child psychology to evaluate her parenting time. Due to
mothers indigency, the expert was appointed at state expense
pursuant to section 19-3-607(1), C.R.S. 2018. The expert
conducted a parent-child interactional evaluation, which
included a clinical interview of mother and direct
observation of mother interacting with each of the four
children. Based on the experts report, mother elected not to
call the expert as a witness.
Just prior to the hearing, the GAL requested that the
experts report be disclosed to her. Mother objected,
asserting that the report was protected by attorney-client
privilege. The juvenile court ordered the report disclosed
and permitted the GAL to call the expert to testify to the
results of his evaluation at the termination hearing.
Standard of Review
We review the juvenile courts resolution of discovery issues
for an abuse of discretion. People in Interest of
A.D.T., 232 P.3d 313, 316 (Colo.App. 2010). We also
review the juvenile courts evidentiary rulings for an abuse
of discretion. People in Interest of M.V., 2018 COA
163, ¶ 52, 432 P.3d 628. A juvenile court abuses its
discretion "when its decision is manifestly arbitrary,
unreasonable, or unfair, or when it misapplies the law."
People in Interest of E.R., 2018 COA 58, ¶ 6. The
the attorney-client privilege is a question of law we review
de novo. People v. Trammell,2014 COA 34, ¶ ...