Evidence: KY CABINET FOR HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES V. A.G.G. (SCOKY; 4/20/2006)

KY CABINET FOR HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES V. A.G.G.
EVIDENCE – KRE 803(4) and statements made for purposes of diagnosis and treatment to person not a physician
FAMILY LAW – Involuntary termination of parental rights (evidence)
2005-SC-000631-DGE.pdf
PUBLISHED
REVERSING; COOPER
DATE:  4/20/2006
 
SC reversed the CA’s ruling and reinstated the Family Court’s termination of A.G.G. and W.E.G.’s parental rights.  During a  hearing on the involuntary termination of the parents’ rights, there was testimony from a physician and a family therapist who had interviewed the couple’s children.  The testimony basically indicated that the children had stated to the physician and family therapist that they had been sexually abused by their parents and their uncles on multiple occasions.  However, the children did not testify at the Family Court hearing.  After the hearing, the Family Court terminated the parents’ rights to their children.  On appeal, the CA held that the testimony from the physician and family therapist regarding hearsay statements from the children (regarding the sexual abuse allegations) was improperly admitted under Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004).  SC held that Crawford did not apply to the Family Court proceeding because the hearing was civil, not criminal,  in nature.  It further held that the hearsay statements were properly admitted under KRE 803(4).     

Digested by Stephen Keller.

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