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In re E.S.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 24, 2018

IN THE INTEREST OF E.S. and E.S., Minor Children, T.B., Mother, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Kevin A. Parker, District Associate Judge.

         A mother appeals the juvenile court order terminating her parental rights.

          Andrea M. Flanagan of Sporer & Flanagan, P.L.L.C., Des Moines, for appellant mother.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Yvonne C. Naanep, Des Moines, guardian ad litem for minor children.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         A mother appeals the juvenile court order terminating her parental rights. We find there is clear and convincing evidence in the record to support termination of the mother's parental rights. Termination of her rights is in the children's best interests and none of the exceptions to termination should be applied. We affirm the juvenile court's decision terminating the mother's parental rights.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         T.B. is the mother of E.S., born in 2015, and E.S., born in 2016. The children's father lived in the home, along with the father's child from another relationship, C.S., who was born in 2016. On October 30, 2016, C.S. was discovered to be unresponsive, and he eventually died from a large subdural hematoma caused by abusive, traumatic brain injury. T.B. told police officers she had shaken C.S. T.B. was charged with child endangerment resulting in death. The mother has been in jail since November 9, 2016, pending resolution of the criminal proceedings.

         Due to the injuries to C.S., E.S. and E.S. were removed from the parents' care on October 31, 2016. The children were initially placed with relatives and then placed in foster care. On December 21, 2016, E.S. and E.S. were adjudicated to be in need of assistance (CINA), pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(b) and (c)(2) (2016). The mother has not had visitation with the children since she has been in jail, although she had some telephone contact with them.

         On April 20, 2017, the State filed a petition seeking to terminate the parents' rights. The father consented to termination of his rights. After a hearing, the juvenile court entered an order on October 20, 2017, terminating the mother's parental rights under section 232.116(1)(b), (e), and (h) (2017).[1] The court found termination was in the children's best interests and no exceptions to termination, as set out in section 232.116(3), should be applied. The mother appeals the juvenile court's decision.

         II. Standard of Review

         The scope of review in termination cases is de novo. In re D.W., 791 N.W.2d 703, 706 (Iowa 2010). Clear and convincing evidence is needed to establish the grounds for termination. In re J.E., 723 N.W.2d 793, 798 (Iowa 2006). Where there is clear and convincing evidence, there is no serious or substantial doubt about the correctness of the conclusion drawn from the evidence. In re D.D., 653 N.W.2d 359, 361 (Iowa 2002). The ...


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