FROM JUVENILE COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2016-112-05-NA-A,
SECTION "A" Honorable Ernestine S. Gray, Judge
Cross PRO SE COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT
A. Cannizzaro, Jr. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ORLEANS PARISH Donald
G. Cassels, III ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ORLEANS PARISH,
Leslie M. Petty MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY SERVICE, COUNSEL FOR
STATE OF LOUISIANA/APPELLEE
composed of Judge Daniel L. Dysart, Judge Madeleine M.
Landrieu, Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano
Cossich Lobrano, Judge
Appellant Daphne Cross ("Mother") appeals the
juvenile court's adjudication of her child A.F. as a
child in need of care. Finding that this Court lacks
jurisdiction to review the adjudication, we dismiss the
and Procedural History
early 2016, A.F. was taken into the custody of the Orleans
Parish Youth Study Center ("YSC"), pursuant to
outstanding runaway warrants. On April 19, 2016, the juvenile
court ordered A.F. released from the YSC without any
restrictions. As a result, YSC staff attempted to contact
Mother (A.F.'s custodial parent) to inform her of
A.F.'s release. However, Mother refused to take A.F. home
from the YSC.
Elliot ("Ms. Elliot"), a child welfare specialist
with the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services
("DCFS"), contacted Mother on April 20, 2016.
During their conversation, Mother informed Ms. Elliot that
she would not assume custody of A.F. unless an ankle monitor
was affixed to her. Ms. Elliot explained that an ankle
monitor was not a condition of A.F.'s release. Ms. Elliot
also informed Mother that if she were to assume custody of
A.F. from the YSC, DCFS could assist Mother in seeking
services, including a possible ankle monitor, the following
day. Mother again refused to assume custody of A.F. Ms.
Elliot then asked Mother if there was another relative with
whom A.F. could be placed. Mother refused to provide the
State of Louisiana ("State"), through DCFS, then
sought an instanter order to assume temporary custody of A.F.
until she could be placed with a family member. The juvenile
court issued the instanter order on April 20,
2016. Five days later, the juvenile court held a
continuing custody hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing,
the juvenile court ordered that A.F. remain in the custody of
the continuing custody hearing, the State, through the
Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office, commenced a
child in need of care proceeding in the interest of A.F.,
alleging that A.F. should be designated a child in need of
care due to Mother's neglect. Mother answered the
State's allegations, and the case came before the
juvenile court for adjudication.
child in need of care adjudication hearing, on June 2, 2016,
the State called Ms. Elliot as a witness, who testified as to
her attempts to convince Mother to take custody of A.F. from
the YSC, and Mother's refusal to do so. Ms. Elliot also
testified as to Mother's refusal to provide DCFS with any
information regarding another family member with whom A.F.
could be placed. Mother called Gwangi Richardson, who briefly
testified that he had provided counseling services to A.F.
Mother then called Glen Holt ("Mr. Holt"), who is
the superintendent of the YSC. Mr. Holt testified that A.F.
was taken into the custody of YSC, and that she was later
ordered released without restrictions. Then, Mother called
A.F. herself. A.F. testified that she called Mother from the
YSC and requested that Mother pick her up. She further
testified that Mother hung up on her, and would not answer
subsequent phone calls. As her final witness, Mother called
A.F.'s brother, X.F.,  who testified that he did not know a
At the conclusion of the hearing, the juvenile court
determined that A.F. is a child in need of care. On June 13,
2016, an order for appeal was signed. This appeal followed.
the order for appeal was signed, on June 30, 2016, a
disposition hearing was held. The record does not indicate
that the ...