April 22, 2019

Colorado Court of Appeals: Department of Human Services Did Not Suffer Injury and Therefore Lacked Standing

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of D.Z.B. on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

Juvenile—Delinquent—Pre-Adjudication Placement—Department of Human Services—Standing.

D.Z.B. had a complex history with the Arapahoe County Department of Human Services (Department) and the juvenile court. Over the Department’s objection, the court placed him in a residential child care facility managed by the Department, in lieu of bond, while his adjudication was pending.

On appeal, the Department asserted that the court lacked authority to place D.Z.B. in the facility pre-adjudication and in lieu of bond over the Department’s objection. The Department was not a party to the delinquency actions against D.Z.B., so it alleged as an injury the costs of D.Z.B.’s care. The obligation and costs of D.Z.B.’s care are incidental to his delinquency action because the Department has a statutory duty to care for and house children removed from their homes in delinquency actions. Thus the Department did not show an injury in fact. Further, the Children’s Code does not confer standing on the Department to challenge a juvenile court’s ruling regarding pre-adjudication placement. The Department lacked standing to appeal.

The appeal was dismissed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

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