CAB. OF HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES v. R.H.
FAMILY LAW: Dependency, neglect and abuse petition and issue preclusion
THIS DECISION WAS RENDERED JUL. 7, 2006 AND ORDERED PUBLISHED ON AUG. 11, 2006
Family court erred by excluding evidence related to the removal of M.A.H.’s siblings following a substantiated claim of sexual abuse perpetrated against at least one of them. The elements of issue preclusion were not established. Although there was an identity of issues in both proceedings and that the issue was litigated in the prior proceeding, the issue of identity was not actually decided in that proceeding. Therefore, the Cabinet is not barred by the doctrine of issue preclusion from introducing evidence that might identify R.H. as the perpetrator of the prior sexual abuse. This evidence is highly relevant to establish whether M.A.H. is an abused or neglected child.