IN THE INTEREST OF J.R., Minor Child, J.R., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Phillip J.
Tabor, District Associate Judge.
father appeals from the order terminating his parental
Matthew D. Hatch of Hatch Law Firm, P.C., Bettendorf, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Gretchen W. Kraemer,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
J. Arnold, Davenport, for minor child.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.
Tabor, J., takes no part.
father appeals a juvenile court order terminating his
parental rights. We find there is sufficient evidence in the
record to support the termination and termination is in the
child's best interests. We affirm the decision of the
Background Facts & Proceedings
father, and E.B., mother, are the parents of J.R., who was
born in 2013. Both parents have a history of substance abuse.
The child was voluntarily removed from the mother's care
in August 2015 after he was injured by the mother to the
extent he required three surgeries. The mother admitted slamming
the child into a table, which caused injury to his
intestines. The child developed gangrene and a portion of his
intestines was removed. A hair test of the child was positive
for marijuana; a hair test of another child in the household
was positive for methamphetamine. The father was in prison at
this time, but shortly thereafter was released on parole.
January 14, 2016, the juvenile court adjudicated the child as
being in need of assistance (CINA) pursuant to Iowa Code
section 232.2(6)(b), (c), (g), (n), and (o) (2015). The
father was sporadic in attending parenting sessions. He was
not amenable to receiving suggestions on improving his
father participated in supervised visits. On September 14,
2016, the child's therapist wrote a letter stating visits
with his parents was emotionally damaging to the child and
caused behavioral problems. The therapist stated the
child's "behaviors can be attributed to his visits
with his parents as well as past emotional trauma caused by
his parents. At this time, I am recommending to cease any
visits between [the child] and his biological parents."
father had a history of mental health problems and had
previously been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He had a new
psychological evaluation in December 2016 and was diagnosed
with attention deficit disorder, intermittent explosive
disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. The report
noted the father "evidences numerous discrete episodes
of failure to resist aggressive impulses which have resulted
in serious assaultive acts and destruction of property."
He met with a therapist for anger management but continued to
engage in angry outbursts.
State filed a petition for termination of the parents'
rights on September 19, 2016. After a hearing, the juvenile
court terminated the father's rights under ...