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In re J.C.

Court of Appeal of Iowa

June 26, 2013

IN THE INTEREST OF J.C. and B.B., Minor Children, J.B., Mother, Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Annette Boehlje, District Associate Judge.

A mother appeals the juvenile court's disposition and removal order.

Travis M. Armbrust of Brown, Kinsey, Funkhouser & Lander, P.L.C., Mason City, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Bruce Kempkes, Assistant Attorney General, Carlyle D. Dalen, County Attorney, and Nichole Benes, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Marilyn Dettmer, Charles City, for father of B.B.

Mark Young and Crystal Ely, Mason City, attorneys and guardians ad litem for minor children.

Considered by Eisenhauer, C.J., and Potterfield and Tabor, JJ.

TABOR, J.

A mother acknowledging use of methamphetamine appeals the juvenile court's order confirming her two daughters as children in need of assistance (CINA). She contends the State failed to justify the CINA adjudications and to show removal of six-year-old B.B. from her home was necessary for the child's safety. Because the mother has not yet committed to the Department of Human Services (DHS) plan for drug testing and treatment, we affirm the CINA adjudications and the juvenile court's dispositional findings.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

Joleen is the mother of two children: J.C., born in April 1997, and B.B., born in August 2006. The whereabouts of J.C.'s father Dimitri are unknown.[1]B.B.'s father John had arranged with Joleen to share custody of B.B. before these proceedings.

The DHS opened this CINA case after receiving a report Joleen used methamphetamine while B.B. was in her care. On November 30, 2012 the social worker met with B.B. and J.C. Neither child noted any problems at home, except for J.C.'s concern about household financial struggles. The worker also met with Joleen at her home. During the visit Joleen asserted she had been sober since 2010. Joleen confirmed she would be serving a ten-day sentence for theft and J.C. and B.B. would stay with relatives. The next day Joleen reported to jail a day late and lost her work release privileges.

On December 5, 2012, the social worker met with Joleen in jail to discuss the drug test Joleen would be administered. Joleen was very emotional during the visit. Joleen eventually shared that she had been using methamphetamine twice a month for the past few months. On December 10, 2012, Joleen's hair sample tested positive for methamphetamine.

The social worker met with Joleen at her home after Joleen was released from jail. Joleen admitted relapsing in April 2012 and recently increasing her methamphetamine use up to three times per week. But Joleen told the social worker she did not view using methamphetamines as a negative in her life because it enables "her to stay thin and say what's on her mind." Joleen also agreed to a safety ...


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