Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re P.J.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 12, 2018

IN THE INTEREST OF P.J., C.J., T.J., and G.J., Minor Children, M.J., Father, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Susan Cox, District Associate Judge.

         A father appeals the child-in-need-of-assistance adjudication order temporarily removing his children from his care and the dispositional order continuing their removal.

          Jason S. Rieper of Rieper Law, PC, Des Moines, for appellant father.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Lynn M. Vogan of Youth Law Center, Des Moines, guardian ad litem for minor children.

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

          MULLINS, JUDGE.

         A father appeals the child-in-need-of-assistance adjudication order temporarily removing his children from his care and the dispositional order continuing the children's out-of-home placement. He argues removal was not necessary as there was no imminent risk to the children's life and health and continued removal is contrary to the children's welfare.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         The mother and father are married and have four children: P.K. (born 2009), C.K. (born 2012), T.K. (born 2015), and G.K. (born 2017). The children came to the attention of the department of human services (DHS) in January 2018 upon allegations the father assaulted the mother in the presence of the children and the mother abused prescription medication while she cared for the children.

         In December 2017, prior to DHS involvement, the father raped the mother in their bed. Two of the children were asleep in the same room. The mother had to bite into a pillow to keep from crying out in pain and waking the children. Later that month, the father physically assaulted the mother at least once. In early January 2018, the mother moved out of the family home and left the children in the father's care. Upon successive applications by the father and paternal grandfather, the court ordered involuntary hospitalization of the mother, first for mental impairment and then for substance abuse. It was during hospitalization that the mother first reported the rape and physical assault to police. While she remained hospitalized, the DHS investigation began.

         The mother was released from the hospital on February 1, upon which she began an intensive outpatient treatment for substance abuse.[1] On February 5, the mother filed a petition for relief from domestic abuse seeking a protective order against the father based upon the rape, physical assaults, and her fear of the father. The mother and father agreed to the protective order on February 14, which granted temporary custody to the father and supervised visitation to the mother. On February 16, DHS concluded its child-abuse investigation and issued founded child-abuse reports against both parents-denial of critical care for failure to provide proper supervision against the father and the use of dangerous substances against the mother.

         On March 1, the State petitioned for child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) adjudications for all of the children based on the founded child-abuse reports. During the March 23 adjudication hearing, all parties consented to the CINA adjudication, and both the State and guardian ad litem (GAL) recommended the children remain in the physical custody of both parents. The father challenged the custody recommendation and requested primary custody. During the contested hearing, the State submitted the founded child-abuse assessments against both parents, the police report filed by the mother regarding the sexual and domestic assaults, and the protection order between the parents. The mother testified to the December rape and other physical altercations between her and the father. After she text messaged the father about the sexual assault, he responded "I'm sorry babe it won't happen again." She further testified to an incident in which the father followed her in his truck and tried to run her off the road when the children were in his vehicle. The mother also testified the paternal grandmother uses marijuana frequently, stating that "when you go over to the house, all you smell is pot." She testified the children have been cared for at the paternal grandparents' house. She was also concerned the oldest child often acted as the parent for the younger children, including giving them baths and getting up in the middle of the night to take care of them. The father did not testify or present any evidence.

         At the conclusion of the hearing, the court entered its ruling on the record, and subsequently in a written ruling, adjudicated all four children as CINA pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(c)(2) and (n) (2018). The court ordered temporary removal of the children from the parents' custody and placed them in the custody of DHS. In its written ruling, the court found the father raped the mother in December. The court also found the father physically assaulted the mother at least twice and during one of the assaults the children were awake and one child begged him to stop. Further, the court found the mother is addicted to prescription medication and only recently completed treatment. Based upon those findings, the court held that remaining in the parental home would be contrary to the children's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.