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In re S.T.

Court of Appeal of Iowa

November 6, 2013

IN THE INTEREST OF S.T., S.T., AND S.J., Minor children, J.T., Mother, Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Gary K. Anderson, District Associate Judge.

A mother appeals the order terminating her parental rights.

Benjamin J. Pick, Council Bluffs, for appellant mother.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kathrine S. Miller-Todd, Assistant Attorney General, Matthew Wilbur, County Attorney, and Eric Strovers, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee State.

Marti Nerenstone, Council Bluffs, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor children.

Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.

DOYLE, P.J.

A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her children. She contends the State failed to prove the grounds for termination by clear and convincing evidence. We review her claim de novo. In re A.B., 815 N.W.2d 764, 773 (Iowa 2012).

The mother's parental rights were terminated pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1) paragraphs (e), (f), (i), and (l) (2013). We need only find termination proper under one ground to affirm. In re R.R.K., 544 N.W.2d 274, 276 (Iowa Ct. App. 1995). We choose to focus our attention on section 232.116(1) paragraph (f), which provides termination is appropriate where:

(1) The child is four years of age or older.
(2) The child has been adjudicated a child in need of assistance pursuant to section 232.96.
(3) The child has been removed from the physical custody of the child's parents for at least twelve of the last eighteen months, or for the last twelve consecutive months and any trial period at home has been less than thirty days.
(4) There is clear and convincing evidence that at the present time the child cannot be returned to the custody of the child's parents as provided in section 232.102.

The mother only challenges the last element of paragraph (f). Upon our de novo review, we find the ...


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