j.j., MOTHER OF k.j., A CHILD; AND A.J., SR., FATHER OF K.J., A CHILD APPELLANTS v. CABINET FOR HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES, COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY; K.J., A CHILD; AND K.J., PRESENTLY 18 YEARS OF AGE APPELLEES
NOT TO BE PUBLISHED
OPINION AND ORDERDISMISSING
J.J. and A.J., Sr. bring this appeal from orders of the Hardin Circuit Court, Family Court Division, entered on July 20, 2012, and July 25, 2012, adjudicating their biological child, K.J., as neglected and committing K.J. to the custody of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) for a matter of hours. In their brief, the parents allege the trial court's findings were clearly erroneous and unsupported by substantial evidence and two instances of hearsay were erroneously admitted.
The Commonwealth has moved that the appeal be dismissed as moot because K.J. is more than eighteen years of age. Appellants oppose dismissal, arguing they have a constitutional right to appeal the trial court's finding of neglect.
K.J. was born July 24, 1994. She was seventeen when her parents were arrested on or about February 3, 2012, for operating a large marijuana grow operation in their home. The adjudication hearing on the dependency, neglect and abuse (DNA) petition occurred on July 17, 2012. A disposition hearing occurred on July 23, 2012, one day before K.J.'s eighteenth birthday. The trial court's order on the disposition hearing committed the child to CHFS, but specifically directed, “CHFS shall release the child and close their case once the child turns 18.” Thus, the commitment lasted only a matter of hours.
In this Commonwealth, upon attaining eighteen years of age, a child is emancipated and no longer subject to jurisdiction of the family court in relation to DNA proceedings per KRS Double 620.140(1)(d). KRS 2.015. Consequently, this appeal is moot as the family court could not afford any relief in the event the appeal was remanded by this Court. See Medical Vision Group, P.S.C. v. Philpot, 261 S.W.3d 485 (Ky.2008). For this reason, we are compelled to GRANT the Commonwealth's motion and DISMISS this appeal as moot.
ENTERED: May 24, 2013 /s/ C. Shea Nickell
JUDGE, COURT OF APPEALS