February 11, 2021
In re Marcquan C. – AC43892 (February 2021)
Jurisdiction of Appeal, Interlocutory Order, Psychological Evaluation
TAKEAWAY: The order for a psychological evaluation was not part of the court’s judgment denying the respondent’s motion to revoke commitment, and is not otherwise an appealable final judgment; as such, the appeal was dismissed.
Mother appealed to the trial court’s order requiring her to participate in a psychological evaluation, issued in the same memorandum of decision with its judgment denying her motion to revoke her child’s commitment to DCF. Mother claimed the order was a part of the judgment denying her motion to revoke commitment, alleging that the order violated her right to remain silent in neglect proceedings.
The Appeals Court held that it lacked jurisdiction over Mother’s appeal, as the order from which she appealed was not a final judgment. Instead, it found that the trial court’s order for a psychological examination was not a part of the court’s judgment denying the motion to revoke commitment, as the court’s denial of the motion to revoke commitment was not based on its decision to order the psychological examination.
Further, the Court here found that the trial court’s order for a psychological examination was not immediately appealable, as it did not satisfy either of the prongs of the test set forth in State v. Curcio (191 Conn. 27) that govern when an interlocutory order is appealable: the order was an integral part of the ongoing proceedings involving Mother and her child, and the results of the evaluation could affect the ultimate outcome of a later adjudication of Mother’s parental rights. Thus, the resolution of the issue did not constitute a separate and distinct proceeding.
Lastly, the Appeals Court found no existing right of Mother had been concluded by the trial court’s order to undergo a psychological evaluation, as the order did not risk irreparable harm to her custody or visitation rights, or to the parent-child relationship, and the order did not directly infringe on or threaten irreparable harm to her right to remain silent, or rule on the admissibility of any statement made by her. As such, the appeal was dismissed.