Court Sustains Order of Temporary Custody After Finding Mother Used Spatula to Discipline Her Child

In a case involving the Department of Children and Families, the Court sustained an Order of Temporary Custody based on allegations that the child’s mother inflicted physical injury upon her child by disciplining him with a rubber spatula.

At trial the evidence established that the mother had a long history with DCF, which started during her own childhood.  She became a mother as just a teen herself, and because she was unable to provide her children with appropriate care, her parental rights were terminated. Those rights were subsequently restored; however, DCF remained concerned about the mother’s ability to adequately parent her children.

The Court’s Findings

With respect to the more recent allegations of physical abuse, the Court heard extensive testimony regarding problems the mother experienced with the child dating back to when he was born.  According to the Court, the testimony and exhibits established that the child was very difficult to manage.  Extremely active, he sustained a number of injuries while at school when the mother was not present.

However, the Court also found that the evidence clearly established the mother used a black spatula as her primary tool of punishment.  For example, DCF offered photographic evidence which established that the child attended school with injuries to his face stemming from the left side of his mouth to the left side of his eye. According to the Court, the pictures provided compelling evidence of scrapes on the child’s face.

The Court ultimately found that DCF proved by a fair preponderance of the evidence that the mother inflicted actual physical injury on the child by striking him with a black spatula on the left side of his face causing visible injury near his eye and mouth.  On those grounds, the Court Ordered that the child be placed with the Department of Children and Families under an Order of Temporary Custody.

By: Joseph Maya, Esq

Should you have any questions regarding DCF matters, or family matters generally, please do not hesitate to contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq.  He can be reached by telephone in the firm’s Westport office at (203) 221-3100, or by e-mail at JMaya@mayalaw.com.

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