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In re X.M.W.

Court of Appeal of Iowa

August 7, 2013

IN THE INTEREST OF X.M.W., Minor Child, A.M., Mother, Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Constance C. Cohen, Associate Juvenile Judge.

A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.

Charles Isaacson, Des Moines, for appellant mother.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kathrine S. Miller-Todd, Assistant Attorney General, John Sarcone, County Attorney, and Stephanie Brown, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee State.

Cynthia Lange of Sporer & Flanafan, P.L.L.C., West Des Moines, for father.

Brent Pattison of the Drake University Legal Clinic, Des Moines, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor child.

Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.

POTTERFIELD, P.J.

A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her son, X.M.W., who was born in July 2012 testing positive for marijuana. Because there was no good cause to delay the termination hearing and statutory grounds for termination exist, we affirm the termination of the mother's parental rights.

I. Background Facts.

In September 2012, the mother stipulated to the removal of the infant from her custody. The child was placed with his great-aunt.

In October, the mother was in jail. At the adjudication hearing, she acknowledged she had mental health and substance abuse issues. The mother stipulated to the adjudication of her child as a child in need of assistance (CINA) pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(c)(2), (n), and (o).[1]

In November, a dispositional hearing was held. The guardian ad litem noted the parents were not participating in services and that visits were not regular or frequent. The mother and father had recently been asked to leave a shelter and their living arrangements were "day-to-day." The mother had been placed on probation for two years for a recent conviction. The court ordered an attachment assessment and again ordered the parents to complete their social history packets.

At the January 2013 review hearing, the mother reported she had been arrested December 31 on an outstanding warrant and she was presently incarcerated. She hoped to enter a woman's residential facility when released. She had yet to complete the attachment assessment. The court reminded the mother that the permanency hearing was scheduled for about six weeks. The court noted the mother had obtained a substance abuse evaluation, but while in jail. The court stated to the mother, "You've been in and ...


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