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Johnston v. Arkansas Department of Human Services

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

February 1, 2017

JACK JOHNSTON APPELLANT
v.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES APPELLEE

         APPEAL FROM THE SEBASTIAN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FORT SMITH DISTRICT [NO. 66PR-2016-147] HONORABLE ANNIE POWELL HENDRICKS, JUDGE

         AFFIRMED

          Dusti Standridge, for appellant.

          Mary Goff, Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee.

          BART F. VIRDEN, Judge.

         The Sebastian County Circuit Court entered an order for long-term protective custody of appellant Jack Johnston, which he now appeals. Johnston argues that (1) the Arkansas Department of Human Services (the Department) failed to present evidence that his family was notified as required by Arkansas Code Annotated section 9-20-111, and (2) that the circuit court erred in limiting counsel's cross-examination regarding Johnston's assets and finances. We affirm.

         I. Adult Maltreatment Custody Act[1]

         A "maltreated adult" means an adult who has been abused, exploited, neglected, physically abused, or sexually abused. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-20-103(15). "Neglect" includes self-neglect or an act or omission by a caregiver responsible for the care and supervision of an endangered or an impaired adult constituting negligent failure to provide necessary treatment, rehabilitation, care, food, clothing, shelter, supervision, or medical services to an endangered or an impaired adult, or to carry out a prescribed treatment plan. See Ark. Code Ann. § 9-20-103(17)(A) & (B)(i), (iii).

         The Arkansas Department of Human Services or a law enforcement official may take a maltreated adult into emergency custody if the circumstances or condition of the maltreated adult are such that returning to or continuing at the maltreated adult's place of residence or in the care of a person responsible for the maltreated adult's care presents imminent danger to the maltreated adult's health or safety, and the maltreated adult either lacks the capacity to comprehend the nature and consequences of remaining in a situation that presents imminent danger to his or her health or safety, or has a mental impairment or a physical impairment that prevents the maltreated adult from protecting himself or herself from imminent danger to his or her health or safety. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-20-114(a)(1), (2).

         Pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated section 9-20-117(c), the trial court may order long-term custody with the Department if the court determines that

(1) The adult has a mental or physical impairment or lacks the capacity to comprehend the nature and consequences of remaining in a situation that presents an imminent danger to his or her health or safety;
(2) The adult is unable to provide for his or her own protection from maltreatment; and
(3) The court finds clear and convincing evidence that the adult to be placed is in need of placement as provided in this chapter.

         II. Proce ...


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