In re Forrest B.

Connecticut Appellate Court

August 19, 2008


Order of Temporary Custody/Mootness

In this case, the mother’s appeal from a trial court’s order of temporary custody was dismissed on mootness grounds. The parties participated in a contested hearing on the state’s request for temporary custody of the mother’s children, at the conclusion of which the court sustained the temporary custody order. Subsequently, the mother failed to appear for the court date regarding the neglect petition. She was defaulted, the children were adjudicated neglected and committed to the department’s custody. Accordingly, the appellate court agreed with the state that no practical relief could result from the appeal regarding the order of temporary custody. The appellate court rejected the mother’s argument that the case should be heard under the “capable of repetition, yet evading review exception to the mootness doctrine. The court cited In re Carl O., 10 Conn. App. 434 and Pamela B. v. Ment, 244 Conn. 296 (1998) for the proposition that appeals from temporary custody orders are moot when the children involved are later adjudicated neglected. The court determined that the mother presented no evidence that most cases challenging a temporary custody order are, by their very nature, of such a limited duration that there is a strong likelihood that they will become moot before appellate litigation can be concluded. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.

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