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In re J.H.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

August 1, 2018

IN THE INTEREST OF J.H. and V.J., Minor Children, A.M., Mother, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Monona County, Mark C. Cord III, District Associate Judge.

         A mother appeals the juvenile court's child-in-need-of-assistance permanency order and the termination of her parental rights.

          Zachary S. Hindman of Mayne, Hindman & Daane, 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 Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         A mother appeals the juvenile court's child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) permanency order and the termination of her parental rights. We find sufficient evidence in the record to support the permanency order and termination is in the children's best interests. We affirm the decision of the juvenile court.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         A.M. is the mother of J.H., [1] born in 2014, and V.J., born in 2017. D.J. is the father of V.J.[2] A.M. had one other child, J.W.H., in 2012, but the state of Missouri terminated her parental rights to J.W.H. prior to this action.

         On October 6, 2017, J.H.'s paternal grandmother noticed a significant burn on J.H.'s foot and brought the child to the hospital. Law enforcement was notified, and after determining J.H. had multiple inflicted injuries, immediately removed the children from the parents' care, placing them with the paternal grandmother. A hair stat test on J.H. came back positive for multiple controlled substances.

         The parents admitted to the caseworker from the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) they had been using multiple controlled substances for some time. The father admitted inflicting the burn on J.H. for a bathroom accident. The mother admitted not noticing J.H.'s injury due to the effects of her use of controlled substances. DHS obtained an emergency removal order on October 9, 2017. The State charged the father with child endangerment, and the court issued a no-contact order barring the father from contact with J.H.

         The mother entered an inpatient treatment center in October but was asked to leave after being found with prescription drugs provided by the father. In November, the mother enrolled in another inpatient substance-abuse treatment facility where she was diagnosed with treatable mental illnesses. Following successful inpatient treatment, the mother transferred to outpatient treatment with the same facility on January 13, 2018. On January 16, she left the facility for a court date and did not return. As a result, the facility discharged her on January 26. The mother has a history of founded child abuse or neglect in Colorado in 2014 and 2016 against J.H.

         The father also entered inpatient treatment in October but left in November against medical advice. He began an outpatient treatment program, where he was diagnosed with multiple mental-health issues, but ...


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