IN THE INTEREST OF S.P., Minor Child, C.P, Guardian, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Colin J. Witt,
District Associate Judge.
maternal grandmother and guardian of a child appeals the
termination of the mother's parental rights and the
termination of her guardianship.
Randall L. Jackson of Law Office of Randall L. Jackson, Des
Moines, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
P. Jellineck, Juvenile Public Defender, Des Moines, guardian
ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
maternal grandmother and guardian of a child, C.P., appeals
the termination of the mother's parental rights and the
termination of her guardianship. We do not address C.P.'s
claims regarding the permanency order. We affirm the juvenile
court's order terminating the rights of the parents. We
vacate the portion of the termination order addressing
C.P.'s guardianship because the juvenile court did not
have subject matter jurisdiction to address the issue.
Background Facts & Proceedings
and W.D. are the parents of S.P., who was born in 2011. The
child has spent most of her life in the care of the maternal
grandmother, C.P., who stated she became the child's
guardian after court proceedings in Illinois. While living in
Iowa, the child was removed from C.P.'s care in February
2017 due to C.P.'s unresolved substance-abuse issues. The
child was placed in foster care in Iowa. S.P. was adjudicated
to be a child in need of assistance pursuant to Iowa Code
section 232.2(6)(b), (c)(2), and (n) (2017).
August 2, 2017, C.P. pleaded guilty to forgery. She received
a suspended sentence and was placed on probation. C.P.
violated her probation and was incarcerated. At a permanency
hearing in December 2017, C.P. advocated to have S.P. placed
with family friends in Illinois. The juvenile court
determined S.P. should remain in the foster home in Iowa
where she had been living since February 2017. The court
denied C.P.'s rule 1.904(2) motion seeking to appoint an
attorney for the child in addition to a guardian ad litem
(GAL) and to consider new evidence.
January 9, 2018, the State filed a petition seeking to
terminate the parental rights of B.P. and W.D. The petition
noted C.P. was the legal guardian of S.P. but did not request
termination of the guardianship or set forth any grounds for
termination of the guardianship. The juvenile court
terminated the parents' rights under section
232.116(1)(b) (2018). The court found termination was in the
child's best interests. The court also ruled:
By operation of law and full faith and credit and this
Court's exclusive jurisdiction, any guardianship that
[C.P.] had via courts in Illinois shall be null and void or
otherwise cease to have any legal effect or impact upon six
year old ...