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In re Tatiana C.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Third Division

December 18, 2013

In re TATIANA C., a Minor
v.
Samantha C., Respondent-Appellant. The People of the State of Illinois, Petitioner-Appellee,

Rule 23 Order filed October 13, 2013

Rule 23 Order withdrawn December 16, 2013 Opinion filed

Held[*]

The trial court's adjudication of respondent's daughter a neglected minor due to the lack of proper care and the order making the daughter a ward of the court under protective supervision while remaining in respondent's care were upheld, notwithstanding respondent's has contention that the finding of neglect was against the manifest weight of the evidence, since respondent's two other children were not in her custody when the instant petition was filed, she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she had a history of psychiatric hospitalizations and substance abuse, she refused services that were offered, no paternity was established and the putative father was unknown, the daughter missed a "staggering number of days of school" due to her mother's problems, and based on the showing that the daughter is "not receiving the proper or necessary support, education as required by law or medical or other remedial care recognized under State law as necessary for a minor's well-being, " the record supported the adjudicatory order.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 12-JA-700; the Hon. Richard A. Stevens, Judge, presiding.

Counsel on Anthony M. Petrone, of Law Offices of Anthony M. Petrone, of Chicago, for appellant.

Anita M. Alvarez, State's Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J. Spellberg, Mary P. Needham, and Nancy Kisicki, Assistant State's Attorneys, of counsel), for the People.

Robert F. Harris, Public Guardian, of Chicago (Kass A. Plain and Susan S. Wigoda, of counsel), guardian ad litem.

Panel PUCINSKI JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Hyman and Justice Mason concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

PUCINSKI JUSTICE

¶ 1 Following an adjudication hearing under the Illinois Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (Act or Juvenile Court Act) (705 ILCS 405/1-1 et seq. (West 2010)), the circuit court found that Tatiana C. was a neglected minor. In the disposition hearing that followed, the court made Tatiana a ward of the court and entered an order of protective supervision, allowing Tatiana to remain in the care of her mother, respondent Samantha C. On appeal, Samantha contests the court's adjudication finding that her daughter was neglected, arguing that the finding is against the manifest weight of the evidence. For the reasons set forth herein, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court.

¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

¶ 3 Tatiana C. was born on June 4, 2004. Samantha C. is her natural mother. Tatiana has two biological brothers, Ishtiel C. and Jahmial C. Neither of Samantha's other children was in her custody and care when the State filed a petition for adjudication of wardship on behalf of Tatiana on July 9, 2012. In the petition, the State alleged that Tatiana was "neglected" as that term is defined in the Act (705 ILCS 405/2-3 (West 2008)). Specifically, the State alleged that Tatiana was not receiving proper support, education, medical or remedial care necessary for her well-being (705 ILCS 405/2-3(1)(a) (West 2010)) and that she was being subjected to an environment that was injurious to her welfare (705 ILCS 405/2-3(1)(b) (West 2010)). The State further alleged that Tatiana was also an "abused" minor as that term is defined in the Act because she was at "substantial risk" for physical injury (705 ILCS 405/2-3(2)(ii) (West 2010)). In support of the allegations of abuse and neglect, the State stated as follows:

"Mother has two other children that were previously in [Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)] care and custody with findings of abuse, neglect, physical abuse and excessive corporal punishment having been entered. Mother has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has been prescribed multiple psychotropic medications. Mother has a history of psychiatric hospitalizations and drug/alcohol abuse. Mother has admitted to an incident when she blacked out to excessive drinking of alcohol; the minor was present. Mother stated that she had taken her psychotropic medication at the time of the incident. Mother has been observed to have bruises and other injuries about her face; mother admitted the bruising came from falling due to being drunk. Mother has been sporadically compliant with psychiatric follow-up. Minor has missed multiple days of school; mother states she is too tired due to her medications to take the minor to school. Intact services were offered to this family to stabilize the family unit; mother refused. Putative father is unknown. Paternity has not been established."[1]

¶ 4 The cause subsequently proceeded to an adjudication hearing.

ΒΆ 5 At the hearing, Emily Lemke testified that she was a community support specialist at Thresholds, a mental health agency that provides support to individuals suffering from mental illness. In her capacity as a community support specialist, Lemke testified that she provides individuals with ...


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