Pupil Personnel Director, Finke, filed a DNA petition in Family Court alleging five-year-old Child had missed 21.5 days of school, 16 of which were unexcused. Child was enrolled in kindergarten as a five-year-old and the absences occurred before she turned six. Family Court summarily dismissed the petition, finding it did not meet the prima facie burden for abuse or neglect. The Commonwealth appealed.
After a physical altercation between Father and Son, wherein Father restrained Son so that Son could not continue hitting him, Mother filed a petition for a protective order for Son. At the hearing, the testimony revealed that Son pushed Father several times and then hit him in the chest. Father then restrained Son and asked his girlfriend to call the police. Family Court entered a domestic violence order (“DVO”), but it did not make a finding that what Father did resulted in a physical injury or constituted an act of domestic violence, and only summarized the family’s history before issuing the DVO. Father appealed.
Father appealed Family Court’s dispositional order in a Dependency, Neglect, and Abuse (“DNA”) matter. Father did not name the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (“the Cabinet”) as a party to the appeal. Father failed to respond to the Court of Appeals' Order requiring him to show cause why his appeal should not be dismissed for failure to name the Cabinet as a party to the appeal. The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal, holding that the Cabinet is an indispensable party in DNA actions, because it is the plaintiff in such actions.
Digested by Nathan R. Hardymon