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In re S.E.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

June 6, 2018

IN THE INTEREST OF S.E., K.E., and M.E., Minor Children, V. E., Father, Appellant, T.E., Mother, Appellant.

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

         Mother and Father appeal termination of their parental rights pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 232 (2017).

          John S. Moeller of John S. Moeller, P.C., Sioux City, for appellant father.

          Molly Vakulskas Joly of Vakulskas Law Firm, P.C., Sioux City, for appellant mother.

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

          Marchelle M. Denker of Juvenile Law Center, Sioux City, guardian ad litem for minor children.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.

          MCDONALD, JUDGE.

         The juvenile court terminated Vernon and Tanna's respective rights in their children M.E. (born 2008), K.E. (born 2010), and S.E. (born 2013) pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(b), (e), and (i) (2017). In this appeal, both parents challenge the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the statutory grounds authorizing the termination of their respective parental rights. In addition, Tanna contends termination of her parental rights was not in the children's best interest.

         This court reviews termination proceedings de novo. See In re A.M., 843 N.W.2d 100, 110 (Iowa 2014). The statutory framework authorizing the termination of a parent-child relationship is well established and need not be repeated herein. See In re A.S., 906 N.W.2d 467, 472-73 (Iowa 2018) (setting forth the statutory framework). Where, as here, "the juvenile court terminates parental rights on more than one statutory ground, we may affirm the juvenile court's order on any ground we find supported by the record." In re A.B., 815 N.W.2d 764, 774 (Iowa 2012).

         We choose to address the sufficiency of the evidence under section 232.116(1)(i). This statute authorizes the termination of parental rights upon clear and convincing evidence of the following:

(1)The child meets the definition of child in need of assistance based on a finding of physical or sexual abuse or neglect as a result of the acts or omissions of one or both parents.
(2)There is clear and convincing evidence that the abuse or neglect posed a significant risk to the life of the child or constituted imminent danger to the child.
(3)There is clear and convincing evidence that the offer or receipt of services would not correct the conditions which led to the abuse or neglect of the child ...

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