The People of the State of Colorado, Petitioner-Appellant, In the Interest of H.T., a Child, and Concerning G.M., Respondent-Appellee.
Larimer County District Court No. 17JV42 Honorable Stephen J.
Jeannine S. Haag, City Attorney, Arthur J. Spicciati,
Assistant City Attorney, Fort Collins, Colorado, for
McCauley, Guardian Ad Litem
Chelsea Carr, Office of Respondent Parents' Counsel,
Longmont, Colorado, for Respondent-Appellee
1 In this dependency and neglect proceeding, the Larimer
County Department of Human Services appeals the juvenile
court's dispositional order directing the Department to
pay for father's offense specific treatment. Because we
conclude that initial dispositional orders, by themselves,
are not final and appealable, we dismiss the appeal.
2 In February 2017, the Larimer County Department of Human
Services filed a petition in dependency or neglect after the
eight-year-old child, H.T., acted out sexually with her
sister and alleged sexual abuse by her father during a
3 On March 20, 2017, father, G.M., received a copy of the
proposed treatment plan. The plan required father to complete
an offense specific evaluation and comply with its
recommendations. Although the child had yet to be adjudicated
dependent or neglected, father submitted a "position
statement" requesting the court to order the Department
to pay for the evaluation and treatment. The Department
responded that it lacked the money to pay for the evaluation
and treatment and "its policy is to not pay for such
evaluations and recommendations."
4 In July 2017, father stipulated to a deferred adjudication.
The stipulation stated that "the parties agree and
consent that the Court shall hold a hearing regarding
financial responsibility for the costs" of treatment.
5 A month after father stipulated to the deferred
adjudication, the Department filed what appears to be a
modified treatment plan incorporating recommendations from an
offense specific evaluation. Father again filed a motion
requesting, in relevant part, that the Department bear the
costs for the recommended treatment. The Department again
responded that it was unable to pay for the treatment
"per Department policy."
6 Five months later, the court heard evidence about
father's need for offense specific treatment and
inability to pay for it. After the hearing, the Department
requested an additional week "to file a written
statement regarding the County's position on payment for
funds." The Department then filed a statement that it
did not have funding to pay for father's offense specific
therapy, that it provided father with rent money to offset
the cost of the initial offense specific evaluation, that it
could not be reimbursed by the state for offense specific
treatment, and that no statutory authority existed for the
court to order the Department to pay for a certain service.
7 The court found that father was financially unable to pay
for the treatment and ordered the Department to "either
pay for the appropriate treatment or modify or eliminate the
requirements from the treatment plan so that [father] has a
reasonable opportunity to comply with the treatment plan and
progress forward." The next day, father agreed to the
entry of a formal adjudication.
8 The court then entered a dispositional order that
father's initial treatment plan dated March 20, 2017 -
not the amended treatment plan - was approved and adopted as
an order of the court. The Department acknowledged the