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Nicholson v. Arkansas Department of Human Services

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

February 1, 2017

BETTY NICHOLSON APPELLANT
v.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES APPELLEE

         APPEAL FROM THE SEBASTIAN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FORT SMITH DISTRICT [NO. 66PR-2016-169] 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 Betty Nicholson. On appeal, Nicholson argues that (1) her family members were not sufficiently notified of the hearing, and (2) the trial court erred by limiting counsel's cross-examination regarding her assets and finances. We affirm.

         I. Adult Maltreatment Custody Act[1]

         A maltreated adult is one 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, for example, 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.[2] See Ark. Code Ann. § 9-20-103(17)(A) & (B)(i), (iii).

         The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) 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 or custody 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 such a situation, or has a mental or 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 Ark. Code Ann. § 9-20-117(c), the trial court may order long-term custody with DHS 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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