IN THE MATTER OF THE PARENTAL RIGHTS AS TO A.L. AND C.B., MINORS. KEAUNDRA D., Appellant,
CLARK COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY SERVICES, Respondent
Appeal from a district court order terminating appellant's parental rights as to the minor children. Eighth Judicial District Court, Family Court Division, Clark County; Robert Teuton, Judge.
David M. Schieck, Special Public Defender, and Melinda E. Simpkins and Deanna M. Molinar, Deputy Special Public Defenders, Clark County, for Appellant.
Catherine Cortez Masto, Attorney General, Carson City; Steven B. Wolfson, District Attorney, and Ronald L. Cordes, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Clark County, for Respondent.
Parraguirre, J. We concur: Gibbons, C.J., Pickering, J., Hardesty, J., Douglas, J., Cherry, J., Saitta, J.
BEFORE THE COURT EN BANC.
In this appeal from a district court order terminating parental rights, we are asked to decide whether the district court erred in relying on a juvenile court's determination that a minor child's injury was not accidental, but rather was caused by appellant, the child's birth mother. We conclude that respondent confessed error on this issue. We therefore reverse and remand for a new trial as to appellant's parental rights.
Appellant Keaundra D. is the mother of A.L. and C.B., the minor children who are the subject of this proceeding. In April 2010, respondent, the Clark County Department of Family Services (DFS), received an anonymous call through its child abuse hotline alleging that the children's safety was at risk because the parents used illegal drugs, domestic violence was ongoing, and C.B.'s face had recently been burned. At the time, A.L. was six years old and C.B. was one year old.
During an interview with a DFS investigator, Keaundra stated that she was the only
adult at home when C.B. was burned. According to Keaundra's trial testimony, A.L. and C.B. were in the master bedroom while she was preparing for work in the attached bathroom. She had recently ironed her clothes and had placed the iron on her dresser. She heard the iron fall and came out to investigate. A.L. told her that C.B. had tried to kiss the iron.
Following this initial contact with DFS, Keaundra moved her family to Louisiana, where her stepfather was stationed with the U.S. Air Force. DFS characterized the move as a flight in an attempt to hide the children from DFS. Upon learning that Keaundra had moved to Louisiana, DFS sought help from U.S. Air Force authorities to gain protective custody of the children. The ...