Search the Beacon

The Roseburg Beacon
All Rights Reserved.


Entries in DHS (6)


Cloud of uncertainty hangs over family

After five years, two wins at Oregon Court of Appeals, mother still in court over custody of her daughter

David Jaques, The Roseburg Beacon

The saga of Ajay Pichette, the single mother who battled the state of Oregon for more than four years for the return of her daughter Nakota (Kota), winning twice in the Oregon court of appeals, continues as she was taken back to court earlier this month defending against a claim for custody and visitation by the former state appointed foster parents, Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies, Mike and Kim Root. 

Liam, Lilly, and Nakota (Kota)The nightmare, as Ajay defines it, all began back in November of 2007, when five armed officers entered her mother’s home in Curtin, where she was staying, and stripped her seven week old baby, Nakota Ruth Eckel from her arms. The 18-year-old single mother, Ajay Eckel (now Pichette) described the scene that night as “chaotic and terrifying”. 

Click to read more ...


Deputies sue mother for custody

By David Jaques

Roseburg, OR- It hasn’t even been a full month since Ajay Pichette got her daughter Nakota (Kota) back home, following a four year battle with Oregon’s Department of Human Services (DHS).

Kota is settling in nicely to her new routine, according to her Mother, after begin taken from her at only seven weeks old.

Kimberly Root, Photo: FacebooThe case has been to the Oregon Court of appeals twice, and in October of 2011 the court terminated all jurisdiction of the state. This would normally been followed by an immediate return to mother, but the state, this time joined by foster parents Mike and Kim Root, both Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies, filed yet another petition to keep Nakota from her family.

Click to read more ...


A Mother and Child Reunion

The Nightmare may finally be over

By David Jaques

AJ Pichette with daughter Nakota, and son Liam - Beacon Staff PhotoRoseburg, OR-The new year promises to be the best ever for Roseburg mother, AJ Pichette, who for over four years has been battling with the state of Oregon and Douglas County to get her daughter back.

Sunday afternoon, January 15, at about 2:00 p.m., four year old Nakota, was finally returned to her mother after four years of court battles and hearings that would ultimately determine her fate. Bright eyed, precocious, “Kota”, as her mother calls her, couldn’t possibly know how fierce the battle was, nor how many state agency case workers and lawyers were involved, nor could she possibly grasp the amount spent on legal costs, estimated to be in excess of $100,000, in an effort to keep the child from her from

Click to read more ...


“All I want for Christmas is my Daughter back"

By David Jaques

Roseburg, OR- The plight of a young single mother, and her efforts to recover her daughter from the clutches of the state, began nearly four years ago to the day, when uniformed police, not Child Protective Services, first removed then seven-week-old Nakota Ruth Eckel from her mother’s arms.

After four years of a virtual tug-of-war between AJ (Eckel) Pichette, who gave birth to Nakota, and her state appointed foster parents, Kim and Mike Root, both Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies, it looks as though a happy ending for Nakota and her mother may be in sight.

On November 15, 2011, AJ and her court appointed attorney, Kareen LaValley, again faced a formidable array of state workers from the Department of Human Services including Ryan Loosli the Roseburg office manager, as well as Attorneys for Mike and Kim Root, Douglas County Deputy District Attorney Robin Vogel-Smith, and four-year-old Nakota’s state appointed Attorney, Jim Arneson.

Click to read more ...


“Mommy, please don’t leave me, I didn’t do anything wrong”

Judge William Marshall rules against mother

By David Jaques

Roseburg, OR—Even though the mother of two and a half year old Nakota Eckel has never been accused of abuse or neglect of her daughter, nor been charged with any crime, Judge William Marshall has directed the Oregon DHS agency to terminate the mother’s parental rights within sixty days.

The decision was issued July 13, three days after the statutory deadline, according to Kareen LaValley, attorney for AJ Pichette, Nakota’s mother. Although the decision was filed with the court clerk on July 13 neither LaValley nor her client received notice of the court’s ruling until Friday, July 16. LaValley said Marshall’s failure to meet the statutory time limit may be grounds to have the decision overturned.

In an exclusive interview with The Beacon, Pichette said upon learning the news late Sunday afternoon from her attorney, that Judge Marshall ruled against her, she didn’t break down and cry she just felt numb

Click to read more ...