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In re M.M.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

February 19, 2014

IN THE INTEREST OF M.M., Minor Child, K.H., Mother, Appellant

Editorial Note:

This opinion is subject to modification or correction by the court and is not final until the time for rehearing or further review has passed.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Joseph Seidlin, District Associate Judge. A mother appeals from the order terminating her parental rights.

Lisa M. Noble of Van Cleaf & McCormack, Des Moines, for appellant mother.

Bryan Webber of Carr & Wright, P.L.C., Des Moines, for father.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kathrine S. Miller-Todd, Assistant Attorney General, John P. Sarcone, County Attorney, and Amanda L. Johnson, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee State.

Paul White, Juvenile Public Defender's Office, Des Moines, for minor child.

Considered by Danilson, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Mahan, S.J.[*]

OPINION

MAHAN, S.J.

A mother appeals from the juvenile court order terminating her parental rights. We conclude the mother's parental rights were properly terminated under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2013). We do not believe extending the proceedings for another six months would be in the child's best interests. Finally, we conclude the exception found in section 232.116(3)(c) should not be applied in this case. We affirm the decision of the juvenile court.

I. Background Facts & Proceedings

Kimberly and Ray are the parents of M.M., who was born in 2010. Kimberly was arrested in April 2011 for child endangerment because she was intoxicated while caring for M.M.[1] She voluntarily agreed to attend substance abuse treatment and place the child in the care of Ray.

Kimberly became intoxicated while caring for the child in April 2012. The State filed a petition alleging M.M. was a child in need of assistance (CINA). On July 17, 2012, the juvenile court adjudicated M.M. to be a CINA under Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(c)(2) and (n) (2011). The court continued the child's placement with Ray. Kimberly had two drug tests that were positive for methamphetamine in September 2012. She proceeded to participate in services and substance abuse treatment.

On February 19, 2013, the juvenile court ordered M.M. would transition to Kimberly's home as of March 1, 2013. In the meantime, Kimberly was required to provide a drug test and continue in services. The drug test was positive for methamphetamine. The court then modified its order to provide the child would ...


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