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In re D.J.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 23, 2014

IN THE INTEREST OF D.J. AND T.J., Minor Children, J.J., Father, Appellant

Editorial Note:

This decision has been referenced in a "Decisions Without Published Opinions" table in the North Western Reporter.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Mitchell County, Karen R. Salic, District Associate Judge. A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to two of his children.

Nicholas T. Larson, Osage, for appellant father.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Janet L. Hoffman, Assistant Attorney General, and Mark Walk, County Attorney, for appellee State.

Richard Gross, Osage, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor children.

Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Potterfield, JJ.

OPINION

VAITHESWARAN, J.

A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to two of his children, born in 2006 and 2009 respectively. He contends: (1) the district court should not have taken judicial notice of the child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) record without properly referencing, noting, copying, and providing the record to his attorney; (2) the district court should not have denied his application for an expert at State expense; (3) the department of human services did not make reasonable efforts to reunite him with the children; (4) the grounds for termination cited by the district court were not proved; and (5) termination was not in the children's best interests.

I. CINA Record .

It is permissible to take judicial notice of a CINA file in a termination proceeding, providing certain safeguards are followed:

Papers requested to be noticed must be marked, identified, and made a part of the record. Testimony must be transcribed, properly certified, marked and made a part of the record. Trial court's ruling in the termination proceeding should state and describe what it is the court is judicially noticing.

In re Adkins, 298 N.W.2d 273, 278 (Iowa 1980). The district court implemented these safeguards. The judge said she would have the clerk of court " make a copy of the . . . files from the CINA to include as exhibits . . . so there's a little clearer record" ; the termination hearing was transcribed; and the court's ruling made reference to the files and facts tat were judicially noticed. ...


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