In re K.T.Annotate this Case
The juvenile court erred in using a per se rule that “[h]itting a child with a belt or strap or another object is abuse” because the rule is overbroad and alters the statutory meaning of “abuse” within the meaning of the Utah Code.
This case involved four children. Mother was the mother of all four children, and Father was the biological father of the younger two. The State filed a petition seeking to adjudicate the children as abused and neglected under Utah Code 78A-6-105. The parties stipulated to a number of findings of fact. The juvenile court determined that Parents abused the children under section 78A-6-105. Parents appealed, arguing that the juvenile court erred when it concluded that spanking a child with a belt, without any additional proof of harm, constitutes abuse within the meaning of Utah law. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that the stipulated facts did not support an abuse determination.