Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re L.M.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 17, 2017

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

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Page County, Amy Zacharias, District Associate Judge.

         An incarcerated mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her one-year-old daughter. REVERSED AND REMANDED FOR FURTHER PROCEEEDINGS.

          Justin R. Wyatt of Woods & Wyatt, P.L.L.C., Glenwood, for appellant mother.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Tabitha J. Gardner, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Sarah M. Hart of Reisinger Booth and Associates, P.C. L.L.O., Omaha, Nebraska, guardian ad litem for minor child.

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Mullins, JJ.

          TABOR, Judge.

         A mother, Katherine, appeals a juvenile court order terminating her parental rights to her one-year-old daughter, L.M. Katherine alleges that after removing L.M. from her care, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) failed to make reasonable efforts to provide reunification services by not offering any visitation opportunities following her incarceration at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women (ICIW) in Mitchellville. Katherine-who testified she had been granted parole-asks us to reverse the termination order and delay permanency for six months to afford her the chance to engage in meaningful contact with her daughter.[1]

         I. Standard of Review

         We review child-welfare appeals de novo, which means we examine both the facts and law and adjudicate anew those issues properly preserved and presented. See In re L.G., 532 N.W.2d 478, 480 (Iowa Ct. App. 1995).

         II. Facts and Prior Proceedings

         At her birth in late December 2015, L.M. tested positive for amphetamines, methamphetamine, and benzodiazepine. Before the newborn left the hospital, she was removed from the care of her mother, Katherine. Katherine had only attended one prenatal appointment and admitted using methamphetamine up to the day before she gave birth to L.M.[2] The DHS placed L.M. in foster care and she has remained with the same family throughout the course of this case.

         The DHS first offered Katherine visitation with L.M. on January 5, 2016, at the residence of Katherine's mother. According to the DHS report, "Katherine appeared to be loving toward [L.M.] during the interaction, but seemed unsure of herself. She had diapers and some outfits for [L.M.]. Katherine asked about the type of formula [L.M.] was using." Katherine's boyfriend[3] called to say he and Katherine had overslept for a second visit scheduled for January 6. The DHS worker required Katherine to confirm future visits two hours in advance, which she failed to do for a visit scheduled for January 8.

         On January 10, 2016, Katherine was arrested for conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine and held in the Fremont County jail. On February 4, the juvenile court held a hearing on the State's petition to adjudicate L.M. as a child in need of assistance (CINA). At that hearing, Katherine's attorney asked for the DHS to facilitate visitation: "If there is any possible way we can have any visitation between mom and child, given the setting, I would like to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.