Submitted On Briefs: January 17, 2019
Kellett Gray, Esq., Brooklin, for appellant mother.
William B. Blaisdell, IV, Esq., Blaisdell & Blaisdell,
Ellsworth, for appellant father.
T. Mills, Attorney General, and Hunter Umphrey, Asst. Atty.
Gen., Office of the Attorney General, Augusta, for appellee
Department of Health and Human Services.
ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and HUMPHREY, JJ.
Travis G. and Kathleen T. appeal from an order entered by the
District Court (Ellsworth, Roberts, J.) finding that
their minor children are in jeopardy pursuant to 22 M.R.S.
§ 4035 (2017). The mother and father challenge the
sufficiency of the evidence supporting the court's
findings, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the
children are in jeopardy. We affirm the
The Department of Health and Human Services filed a child
protection petition against the mother and father as to their
three minor children in February 2018, alleging that the
mother and father chronically neglected the children's
medical and developmental needs, failed to provide safe and
sanitary housing, and failed to adequately supervise the
children. After a three-day testimonial hearing, by order
dated July 31, 2018, the court found by a preponderance of
the evidence that the children were in circumstances of
jeopardy to their health and welfare. See 22 M.R.S.
The court based its findings of jeopardy on the following
factual findings, which are supported by competent record
evidence. See id. § 4035(2). With
regard to the mother, the court found:
Mother: [Infant child] has gross motor delays. She was in the
1st percentile for weight when she entered State custody.
[Middle child's] vaccinations were delayed. [Middle child
and oldest child] had elevated Ages and Stages evaluation
scores indicating significant developmental delays. [Mother]
lacks the ability to care for 3 children on her own at this
time. She needs to learn [to] develop better parenting skills
and demonstrate an attachment to her children. Their current
residence, with Father's parents [, ] is not suitable for
children of their ages due to unsanitary conditions.
[Mother's] level of commitment to her relationship with
[father] is questionable and may impact her attachment to
regard to the father, the court found:
Father . . . lacks the ability to provide significant
assistance to [paternal grandmother]. He does not have the
ability to care for the children on his own as he is working
and attempting to establish a safe home for the family.
[Father's] level of commitment to [mother] is
questionable as well. He cannot provide the children the
assistance that they need at this time to overcome their
The mother and father timely appeal the court's findings
of jeopardy. See 22 M.R.S. § ...