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In re E.B.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 21, 2018

IN THE INTEREST OF E.B., D.B., and E.B., Minor Children, J.P, Mother, Appellant, M.B., Father, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, David F. Staudt, Judge.

         A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to three children.

          John W. Harris of McCrindle Law Office, Waterloo, for appellant mother.

          Christina M. Shriver, Waterloo, for appellant father.

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

          Melissa A. Anderson-Seeber of Waterloo Juvenile Public Defender's Office, Waterloo, guardian ad litem for minor children.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.

          DANILSON, CHIEF JUDGE.

         The mother and father of three children separately appeal from the termination of their parental rights. Instability, domestic violence, lack of consistent and diligent effort in participating in the services provided as well as continued unresolved needs have been the hallmarks of these parents. Upon our de novo review, we find clear and convincing evidence supports the termination of both parents' parental rights and affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         This case involves three children: E.B., born in March 2007; D.B., born in April 2012; and Et.B.[1], born in July 2016.

         The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) became involved with the family in February 2017, following a report the father attacked the mother while they were in a vehicle with the children present. The father punched the mother and cut her on the head with a knife. E.B. reported the father yelled "watch your momma die" and the father made comments about killing himself. When police arrived, the father cut his own throat but failed to cause a serious injury.

         Because of the attack, the father was arrested on domestic-abuse and child-endangerment charges. A no-contact order (NCO) was issued between the mother and father as well as between the father and the three children. During the following month, the mother took the children to visit the father multiple times while the NCO was still in effect. The mother repeatedly lied to DHS when confronted about her violations of the NCO. Because the mother failed to abide by the safety plan and placed the children in danger, the children were removed in April 2017. Additional relevant facts will be discussed below.

         In September 2018, the juvenile court entered an order terminating the parental rights of the mother and father. The juvenile court terminated both parents' parental rights to E.B. and D.B. pursuant to section 232.116(1)(f) (2018). Their parental rights to Et.B. ...


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