In the Matter of MB, FH# 2018-1193

Frances I. Wheat, MPA
Reversed - DCF did not have reasonable cause to support allegation of neglect of 16-year-old child by Appellant father where 1) Appellant was drinking in front of child; and 2) After drinking to intoxication, Appellant let child (who had learner's permit) drive Appellant home with another, sober adult in the car. At the time the report was filed, Appellant was in an active divorce/custody battle with child's mother. In original decision, DCF relied on child's mother's statement about Appellant's drinking problem, but, on reversal, the statement was found to not be credible because she had never told the court about a drinking problem. In original decision, DCF relied on fact that Appellant "made" child drive home, but, on reversal, it was determined that child requested to drive home.
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