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In re G.B.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 26, 2014

IN THE INTEREST OF G.B., Minor Child, K.B., Father, Appellant, L.R., Mother, Appellant

Editorial Note:

This decision is published in table format in the North Western Reporter.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Seymour, District Associate Judge. A father and mother appeal separately from the order terminating their parental rights.

Andrew Tullar of Tullar Law Firm, P.L.C., Des Moines, for appellant father.

Stephie N. Tran, Des Moines, for appellant mother.

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

Erin E. Mayfield of the Youth Law Center, for minor child.

Considered bye Danilson, C.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.

OPINION

DANILSON, C.J.

A mother and father separately appeal from the order terminating their parental rights to their child, G.B. We are compelled by the record to reverse the termination of both the mother's and the father's parental rights. The juvenile court did not make the findings required to terminate under Iowa Code sections 232.116(1)(d), (e), or ( l ) (2013). Because the court did not find G.B. was abused or neglected prior to the child-in-need-of-assistance adjudication; the parents did not fail to maintain significant and meaningful contact with G.B.; and both the State and the court quoted an outdated version of section 232.116(1)( l ) and did not make the proper finding of a " severe substance-related disorder," the terminations cannot stand. We reverse the termination of the mother's and father's parental rights and remand for further proceedings.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

G.B. was born in March 2010. The family first came to the attention of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) in September 2013, due to the parents' use of methamphetamine and a registered sex offender being apprehended in the parents' home. The father was arrested for violation of probation for continued use of drugs and incarcerated on September 5, 2013, during the child protective assessment. G.B. was temporarily removed from the mother's care.

On October 23, 2013, a combined removal and adjudication hearing was held. G.B. was adjudicated a child in need of assistance (CINA) pursuant to Iowa Code sections 232.2(6)(b), (c)(2), and (n). The court found removal from the parents' care was still necessary because " parents' unresolved substance abuse, father is on probation and has not complied with the probation requirements, mother has allowed a registered sex offender and other individuals who use methamphetamine to be around the child." The court also noted that the mother " has an extensive history of using meth, mother tested positive for methamphetamine [on September 13, 2013]," and the " [f]ather has used methamphetamine and is incarcerated and unavailable at this time."

The mother started outpatient drug rehabilitation at House of Mercy on October 15, 2013. She ended treatment on November 21, 2013, and, by her own admission, immediately relapsed using both marijuana and methamphetamine. She entered a residential treatment program at MECCA on November 22, ...


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