Court Cases by Kansas
In the interest of L.J.W.
252 P.3d 647 (Ct. App. 2011)
Child has special needs as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome. Child was removed from home because of concern parents could not meet those needs. Part of the child’s permanency plan was requiring the mother to complete a parenting assessment and follow its recommendations, to participate in family therapy with child and to find a doctor to rescreen the child for fetal alcohol syndrome. The mother did not fulfill these requirements or adjust her circumstances to meet her child’s special needs and thus her parental rights were terminated.
Bailey v. Kansas
89 P.3d 662, 2004 WL 1087063 (Kan. Ct. App. 2004)
Defendant Bailey filed a pro se motion for post-conviction relief following a no contest plea to criminal sodomy, claiming that his trial counsel was ineffective.
The underlying criminal case arose from the alleged sexual abuse of an 11-year old boy, S.A., a child diagnosed with FAS, mild Raynaud's disease, attention deficit disorder, spina bifida, and a coordination delay. S.A.'s foster parent testified that, among other things, S.A. is a child who can be easily manipulated. However, S.A.'s foster parent also testified that he had heard S.A. tell the story of the alleged abuse "maybe eight to ten times to at least four different people and it's been the same exact story..."
On the morning of the trial, Bailey entered into a plea agreement. On appeal, Bailey claimed ineffective assistance of counsel. One of Bailey's arguments was that S.A. was interviewed using inappropriate leading questions and this his attorney should have consulted an expert on child interview techniques. The court's opinion refers to "factors undermining the victim's reliability," but does not specify whether the victim's FAS diagnosis is one of those factors.
The court of appeals found that Bailey's counsel may have been deficient by failing to consult an expert witness on child interview techniques but that Bailey was not prejudiced by this failure because he elected to accept a beneficial plea agreement.