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In re H.H.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

August 16, 2017

IN THE INTEREST OF H.H., Minor Child, C.H., Father, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Lucas County, Monty W. Franklin, District Associate Judge.

         A father appeals from the order terminating his parental rights. AFFIRMED.

          Amanda M. Demichelis of Demichelis Law Firm, P.C., Chariton, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Dawn M. Bowman of Bowman Law Office, Pleasant Hill, for minor child.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ.

          DANILSON, Chief Judge.

         A father appeals[1] from an order terminating his parental rights to his child, H.H., born in January 2015. The family began receiving parenting services from the department of human services (DHS) shortly after the child's birth because both parents previously had their rights to other children terminated. The father has anger-management and mental-health issues, and failed to follow through with drug testing.

         H.H. was removed from parental custody on July 24, 2015, due to a domestic abuse assault by the father against the mother and a subsequent drug test that indicated the father had been using methamphetamine.[2] The child has remained in out-of-home placement since the ex parte removal. A contested hearing was held on September 9 and, on October 5, 2015, the child was adjudicated a child in need of assistance (CINA).

         In February 2016, a permanency order was filed and the father was granted an additional six months to seek reunification. The court found it reasonably likely the child could safely be returned home with an additional six months of reunification services if several specific issues and concerns were successfully addressed.

         In May 2016, the DHS worker addressed the father's lack of progress on each issue and recommended that the permanency goal for the child be changed from reunification to termination of parental rights and adoption.[3]

         In an August 4, 2016 permanency-review order, the juvenile court changed the permanency goal to termination of parental rights and further ordered:

Visitation between mother, father, and child shall remain suspended as a result of the parents['] failure to participate with services. If the parents show regular and consistent cooperation and participation in services and progress with such services, DHS or the child's guardian ad litem [(GAL)] may make application to the Court to reinstate visitation.

         No such application to reinstate visitation was made by either DHS or the child's GAL. Nor did the father seek to ...


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