IN THE INTEREST OF W.A., C.A., B.A., and H.A., Minor Children, N.A, Grandmother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Kevin A.
Parker, District Associate Judge.
grandmother appeals a juvenile court order denying her
motions for intervention and visitation.
Jean Lockwood of Hartung & Schroeder, L.L.P., Des Moines,
for appellant grandmother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
L. Pietz of Pietz Law Office, Des Moines, attorney and
guardian ad litem for minor child W.A.
Kathryn Miller of Juvenile Public Defender, Des Moines,
attorney and guardian ad litem for minor children C.A., B.A.,
Considered Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.
appellant, N.A., is the biological, paternal grandmother of
the children in interest. She appeals a juvenile court order
denying her motions for intervention and
visitation. Her viable arguments on appeal are that
the district court erred in (1) not allowing her to intervene
and (2) denying her request for visitation.
Background Facts and Proceedings
children's parents' parental rights as to all four
children were terminated in October 2016. This court
subsequently affirmed the termination of both parents'
parental rights. See generally In re W.A., No.
16-1774, 2017 WL 104975 (Iowa Ct. App. Jan. 11, 2017). In
December, the juvenile court ordered the children be placed
in the custody and guardianship of the Iowa Department of
Human Services (DHS) for purposes of adoption. DHS began
exploring possibilities for adoption and placed W.A. and B.A
in foster care and C.A. and H.A. in relative care with their
maternal grandmother. Currently, the maternal grandmother is
not an option for permanent placement for C.A. and H.A, but
W.A. and B.A.'s foster parents have been approved for
January 2017, N.A. moved to intervene in the
child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) and
termination-of-parental-rights (TPR) cases, arguing she was
an interested party due to her status as the children's
grandmother and no other party was representing, or had the
ability to represent, her interests. She requested "that
the [c]ourt grant her party status in the ongoing . . . cases
regarding her grandchildren." A hearing was held on the
motion in March; the hearing was limited to argument by the
parties and the submission of exhibits. In May, while the
matter was still pending, N.A. filed a motion for visitation.
In July, the juvenile court entered a written ruling denying
both motions and making the following conclusions:
The parental rights of the parents have been terminated. The
children are currently in foster care and relative care
(maternal grandmother) and are thriving. [N.A.] has not been
a placement for the children since the inception of this
matter. It is not in the best ...