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In re A.T.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

January 13, 2015

In re A.T., a Minor. (The People of the State of Illinois, Petitioner-Appellee,
v.
Mariah S., Respondent-Appellant)

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit, Tazewell, Illinois. Circuit No. 13-JA-72. The Honorable Richard D. McCoy, Judge, Presiding.

Affirmed.

SYLLABUS

The trial court's finding that respondent was dispositionally unfit to care for her child was affirmed on appeal, since the finding was not against the manifest weight of the evidence, especially when she had homicidal ideations with respect to her son, she had a history of substance abuse, domestic violence with the child's father, and criminal convictions, she was homeless and unemployed, and she was not taking her medications.

Dale R. Thomas, of Pekin, for appellant.

Stewart Umholtz, State's Attorney, of Pekin (Richard T. Leonard, of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

PRESIDING JUSTICE McDADE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices O'Brien and Wright concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

McDADE, PRESIDING JUSTICE

Page 1181

[¶1] The State filed a neglect petition on behalf of A.T. alleging A.T's mother, Mariah S. (respondent), provided an environment injurious to the minor's welfare. After a finding of neglect and a dispositional hearing, the court found respondent unfit to care for A.T. Respondent appeals the trial court's finding of her dispositional unfitness. We affirm.

[¶2] FACTS

[¶3] On September 26, 2013, the State filed a neglect petition alleging respondent: (1) suffered from major depression disorder and social anxiety disorder, (2) heard voices telling her to hurt herself, (3) was located on a bridge on September 8, 2013, and told police she was thinking of jumping and had been trying to commit suicide for a week, (4) told police she would rather drown A.T. than have him in the care of the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), (5) became homeless sometime after August 27, 2013, and (6) has a criminal history, including a 2011 conviction for aggravated battery, a 2012 conviction for aggravated battery, and a 2012 conviction for forgery.

[¶4] Respondent filed an answer denying she currently suffered from any mental health problems. She also denied hearing voices. Respondent admitted to the incident on the bridge, having mental health problems in the past, making the statement regarding drowning A.T., being homeless and her criminal history. The trial court found A.T. to be neglected based on these admissions.

[¶5] The court held a dispositional hearing on April 11, 2014. The court admitted a " Dispositional Hearing/Social History Report" (dispositional report) prepared by a caseworker for Family Core. The dispositional report stated that respondent was homeless and living at the Salvation Army. It also disclosed that respondent had a history of substance abuse and had tested positive for THC on December 30, 2013. Respondent was three months pregnant with her second child at this time. The dispositional report contained the caseworker's opinion that respondent was dispositionally unfit. Attached ...


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