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In re A.P.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 27, 2017

IN RE THE INTEREST OF A.P., Minor Child, P.B., Mother, Appellant, T.W., Father, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court, Delaware County, Thomas J. Straka, Associate Juvenile Judge.

         The parents each appeal the juvenile court order terminating their parental rights. AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.

          Cory R. Gonzales of Law Firm of Cory R. Gonzales, P.L.L.C., Strawberry Point, for appellant mother.

          David G. Baumgartner, Strawberry Point, for appellant father.

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

          Kimberly S. Lange of Kimberly S. Lange Law Office, Edgewood, guardian ad litem for minor child.

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, Judge.

         The parents each appeal the juvenile court order terminating their parental rights. We find there was sufficient evidence in the record to support termination of the parents' rights. We determine an extension of time is not in the child's best interests and termination is in the child's best interests. We also find the juvenile court properly accepted evidence of the mother's pending criminal charges. We affirm the decision of the juvenile court.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         B.P., mother, and T.W., father, are the parents of A.P., born in 2015. The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) became involved in August 2015 after the mother, who was on probation, [1] tested positive for methamphetamine. On October 14, 2015, the child was adjudicated to be in need of assistance under Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(b), (c)(2), and (n) (2015). The mother attended treatment for substance abuse and the child remained in her care. She also attended therapy for mental health concerns.

         In August 2016, the mother relapsed into drug and alcohol use. She left the child, who was then a toddler, alone in her apartment while she went out drinking to the point she became intoxicated. The mother was charged with child endangerment and disorderly conduct. The child was removed from the mother's care and placed with relatives.

         In September 2016, the mother was charged with public intoxication because she attended a meeting with her probation officer while intoxicated, and she pled guilty to this charge. The mother also pled guilty to child endangerment, was given a suspended sentence of one year in jail, and placed on probation. The charge of disorderly conduct was dismissed. Due to probation violations, the mother was placed in a residential treatment facility.

         After her release, in April 2017, the mother was discovered, unresponsive, in the elevator of her apartment building. She admitted she had been drinking alcohol and was charged with public intoxication. A few days later, she tested positive for methamphetamine. The State ...


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