IN THE INTEREST OF S.A., Minor Child, S.F., Mother, Petitioner-Appellant, W.A., Father, Respondent-Appellee.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeanie K.
mother appeals the district court's denial of her
petition to terminate the parental rights of the father.
M. Flanagan of Flanagan Law Group, PLLC, Des Moines, for
Grimes, pro se appellee father. Jessica A. Millage of Millage
Law Firm. P.C., Des Moines, guardian ad litem for minor
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.
mother appeals the denial of her petition to terminate the
father's parental rights as to their daughter, S.A. The
mother sought termination of parental rights pursuant to Iowa
Code section 600A.8(3)(b)(1) and (2) and section 600A.8(4)
Background Facts and Proceedings.
parties met in 2005 and began a romantic relationship; they
have never married. S.A. was born in 2011 and is the only
child from the relationship. The parties moved to Iowa with
their daughter in 2014 and have remained here since.
August 2014, the father was arrested for domestic violence
against the mother. He was charged with first-offense
domestic abuse assault, pled guilty, and was convicted. The
court entered a no-contact order between the parents, set to
expire January 2016.
October 2014, the mother petitioned to establish custody,
visitation, and support for S.A. In November, the father was
charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI). He pled
guilty, and the court sentenced him to serve the minimum jail
term, suspending the balance, and requiring probation.
mother and father entered a stipulation and agreement on
temporary matters, providing for the father to visit the
child in gradually lengthening periods of time. In March
2015, the mother filed an application to modify the
no-contact order and the court granted permission for the
mother and father to communicate electronically regarding
S.A. and to exchange S.A. for visitation in a public place.
From March 2015 to September 2015, the father participated in
graduated visitation, progressing to overnight visits with
father was arrested in September 2015 and charged with
domestic abuse assault, second offense. The father's
probation was revoked in September 2015, when he pled guilty
to domestic abuse assault, second offense. For both the OWI
and domestic abuse assault, the court sentenced the father to
two years of incarceration. The father was incarcerated and
then transferred to a residential correctional facility,
where he was granted work release.
mother dismissed without prejudice her application for
custody, visitation, and support in September 2015. September
2015 was the last visitation between the father and S.A. The
mother has become ...