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 D.H.-W.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

February 7, 2018

IN THE INTEREST OF D.H.-W., Minor Child, M.H., Mother, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buena Vista County, Mary L. McCollum Timko, Associate Juvenile Judge.

         A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.

          Kara L. Minnihan of Minnihan Law Firm, Onawa, for appellant mother.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anagha Dixit, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Lisa K. Mazurek of Miller, Miller, Miller, P.C., Cherokee, guardian ad litem for minor child.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.[1] We find the termination was supported by clear and convincing evidence and termination is in the best interest of the child. We affirm the juvenile court.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         D.H.-W. was born in 2014. D.H.-W.'s siblings, born in 1996 and 2006, were previously adjudicated as Children in Need of Assistance (CINA) and removed from the mother's care in response to substance-abuse issues, domestic-violence concerns, and the mother's inability to maintain stable employment and housing. The mother's parental rights to the older children were not terminated. However, while pregnant with D.H.-W. the mother continued to use controlled substances. After D.H.-W.'s birth, domestic violence returned to the mother's home. D.H.-W.'s father was charged with two counts of domestic abuse assault and harassment in the first degree.

         A CINA petition was filed December 22, 2015, concerning D.H.-W. due to domestic violence and substance abuse. Prior to the CINA hearing, the mother, grandmother, and the mother's adult child were arrested and charged with delivery of prescription drugs. During the drug buy, D.H.-W. was in the care of a friend with a lengthy criminal history, including charges of domestic abuse. It was also determined that during previous drug buys, D.H.-W. was present in the vehicle.

         D.H.-W. was adjudicated CINA in February 2016. The mother scheduled a substance-abuse evaluation and therapy. D.H.-W. was placed in foster care as neither parent was able to care for the child. The mother began supervised visitation. At a permanency review hearing, the mother showed improvement. She was cooperative with treatment, was working part-time, and had begun to remove herself from individuals who triggered her substance-abuse issues. The mother consistently attended family treatment court. When safety issues at her home were pointed out, the mother showed commitment to addressing those problems, and she showed interest in learning to meet D.H.-W.'s needs. The mother actively engaged with D.H.-W. during visits and showed a strong bond with the child. Seeing the significant improvement made by the mother, the juvenile court allowed the mother an additional six months to work towards reunification.

         The juvenile court set a hearing for modification of permanency for April 4, 2017. At the time of the hearing, the mother had finally secured an apartment, but had not fully moved in. The juvenile court expressed concern regarding the mother's unhealthy relationships with her mother and her adult child, as the three would often use illegal substances together. However, the mother no longer suffered from chronic pain, owned her own vehicle, and had a valid driver's license.

         The termination hearing was held July 20. Earlier in the month, the mother went camping with her two older children, her father and mother, and her brother and sister-in-law. The mother had previously identified her sister-in-law as a negative person she should not associate with. During the trip, illegal substances were used although the mother claims she did not partake. A fight between the mother's adult ...


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.