In re N.C.

Illinois Appellate Court
Civil Court
Abuse and Neglect
Case Number: 
2012 IL App (3d) 120438
Decision Date: 
Thursday, July 25, 2013
3d Dist.
Peoria Co.
Reversed and remanded with directions.
State does not have standing to file motion to declare nonexistence of parent and child relationship. Whether presumed father signed VAP due to fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact is a claim relating to legal interest of father, and should be advanced by the father himself, not the State, as it was not a signatory to the VAP. Court erred in declaring nonpaternity, and in dismissing presumed father as a party in the neglect proceedings. Because allegations of neglect concerned conduct of presumed father, but he was wrongly dismissed, court's finding that child was neglected due to injurious environment must be reversed. As focus of neglect proceeding is on whether child is neglected, and not whether a parent is neglectful, adverse finding against child's mother must also be reversed. (HOLDRIDGE, concurring; CARTER, dissenting.)