from the Circuit Court of Randolph County, No. 18-F-19; the
Hon. Eugene E. Gross, Judge, presiding.
R. Farris, of Sparta, for appellants.
H. Liefer and Benjamin M. Grohmann, of Cooper & Liefer
Law Office, of Red Bud, for appellee.
WELCH JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Overstreet and Justice Chapman
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 The petitioners, Gary and Rebecca Ferrari, appeal the
Randolph County circuit court's dismissal of their
petition for allocation of temporary and permanent parental
responsibilities with respect to the minor, K.L., for lack of
standing. For the following reasons, we affirm.
2 K.L. was born on July 15, 2015, to the respondent, Bethany
Nicholle Moore, and Christopher Liter, petitioner Rebecca
Ferrari's son. On July 18, 2015, the Illinois Department
of Children and Family Services (DCFS) took protective
custody of the minor after receiving a hotline report that
K.L. was born substance abused. The State's petition for
adjudication of wardship alleged that K.L. was neglected due
to Moore testing positive for marijuana and opiates at
K.L.'s birth and failing to seek adequate prenatal care.
A shelter care hearing was held on July 20, 2015, and DCFS
was awarded temporary custody of K.L. On August 15, 2015,
K.L. was placed with the petitioners. On September 16, 2015,
Moore admitted to the neglect allegations in the State's
petition for adjudication of wardship. The trial court's
order of adjudication, issued that same day, warned Moore
that she "must cooperate with [DCFS], comply with the
terms of the service plan, correct the conditions that
require the child(ren) to be in care, or risk termination of
3 Also on September 16, 2015, Children's Home and Aid
Society caseworker Christa Garcia filed a dispositional
report. It stated that Moore's service plan was initiated
on August 26, 2015, and the permanency goal was for K.L. to
return home within 12 months. Moore's objectives were to
complete substance abuse treatment, parenting education
services, and mental health counseling; to establish
independence; and to participate in visitation with K.L.
4 On December 8, 2015, Moore and Liter were charged with
residential burglary in violation of sections 19-3(a) and
5-2(c) of the Criminal Code of 2012 (720 ILCS 5/19-3(a),
5-2(c) (West 2014)). On December 14, 2015, Liter died by
suicide while incarcerated in the Randolph County jail. On
March 11, 2016, Moore pleaded guilty to the charges and was
sentenced to four years in the Department of Corrections
(DOC); however, the trial court also found her eligible for
the impact incarceration program, in which her sentence would
be reduced to time served upon certification by the DOC that
she successfully completed the program. Moore was accepted
into the program on April 18, 2016. On August 18, 2016, she
successfully completed the program and was released from
custody. Upon her release, she reinstated regular visitation
with her daughter.
5 On May 4, 2017, the trial court entered a permanency order
indicating that Moore had made substantial progress toward
returning K.L. home. Garcia's dispositional reports
indicated that Moore was compliant with her service plan.
Another permanency order filed on October 26, 2017, again
indicated that Moore had made substantial progress toward
returning K.L. home. On April 4, 2018, Garcia's
dispositional report recommended that guardianship of K.L.
remain with DCFS but that legal custody be granted back to
6 On April 6, 2018, the petitioners filed the petition at
issue in this case, seeking temporary and permanent parenting
time and decision-making authority with respect to K.L. This
petition was served on Moore on April 9, 2018, the same day
that the trial court filed a permanency order returning
physical custody of K.L. to her.
7 On April 25, 2018, the petitioners filed a motion for leave
to intervene in the juvenile case. The State, DCFS, and Moore
all objected to the petitioners' motion.
8 On May 24, 2018, the trial court entered an order approving
of an agreement reached between Moore and the petitioners.
The petitioners withdrew their motion for leave to intervene
in the juvenile case and were granted monthly weekend
visitation with K.L.
9 On October 11, 2018, an order of discharge was entered,
closing the juvenile matter and ...