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In re P.K.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

August 1, 2018

IN THE INTEREST OF P.K., Minor Child, B.K., Father, Appellant, S.K., Mother, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Barbara H. Liesveld, District Associate Judge.

         A mother and a father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to their child. AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.

          Brian D. Johnson of Jacobsen, Johnson & Wiezorek P.L.C., Cedar Rapids, for appellant father.

          Robert W. Davison, Cedar Rapids, for appellant mother.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Meredith L. Lamberti, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Kimberly A. Opatz of Linn County Advocate, Cedar Rapids, guardian ad litem for minor child.

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.

          DOYLE, JUDGE.

         A mother and a father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to their child. Our review is de novo. In re P.L., 778 N.W.2d 33, 40 (Iowa 2010).

[T]he proper analysis under section 232 is first for the court to determine if a ground for termination exists under section 232.116(1) [(2017)]. If a ground exists, the court may terminate a parent's parental rights. Iowa Code § 232.116(1). In considering whether to terminate, "the court shall give primary consideration to the child's safety, to the best placement for furthering the long-term nurturing and growth of the child, and to the physical, mental, and emotional condition and needs of the child." Id. § 232.116(2). Any findings in this regard should be contained in the judge's decision. Finally, before terminating a parent's parental rights, the court must consider if any of the exceptions contained in section 232.116(3) allow the court not to terminate. Id. § 232.116(3).

Id. at 37. After undertaking this analysis, we affirm on both appeals.

         The child was born in September 2016 and tested positive for methamphetamine and carboxy-THC. The mother admitted to smoking methamphetamine during the pregnancy, and the father admitted to using marijuana. The juvenile court adjudicated the child to be in need of assistance (CINA) within the meaning of Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(c)(2), (n), and (o). The court removed the child from the parents' care due to the parents' ongoing methamphetamine use and failure to submit to drug testing. A trial placement with the mother ended after the mother tested positive for methamphetamine.

         The juvenile court terminated the mother's and the father's parental rights under section 232.116(1)(h). To terminate a parent's rights under section 232.116(1)(h), the court must ...


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