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In re Y.M.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 9, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF Y.M., L.M., R.C., J.C., and R.C., Minor Children, B.R., Mother, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Lynn Poschner, District Associate Judge.

         A mother appeals the juvenile court's termination of her parental rights.

          Francis P. Hurley of Phil Watson P.C., Des Moines, for appellant mother.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and John McCormally, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Bryan J. Tingle of Tingle Law Office, Des Moines, guardian ad litem for minor children and attorney for minor children Y.M. and L.M.

          Erin Mayfield of Youth Law Center, Des Moines, attorney for minor children R.C., J.C., and R.C.

          Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         A mother appeals the juvenile court order terminating her parental rights. We find termination is in the children's best interests and no exceptions apply. We affirm the juvenile court.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         B.R., mother, and R.R.-C., father, are married and are the parents of Re.C., born in 2006; J.C., born in 2007; and Ra.C., born in 2010. B.R. is also the mother of L.M., born in 2013, and Y.M., born in 2014. R.R.-C. is the legal father and M.M.-R. is the biological father of L.M. and Y.M., but neither is on the birth certificates.

         The family has been involved with the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) since August 2015 when the mother's substance-abuse problems resulted in children-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) proceedings. The mother successfully participated in services and the CINA proceedings closed in September 2016.

         On June 11, 2017, police responded to a domestic violence call and during the investigation the mother admitted to daily methamphetamine use. On June 20, the mother consented to the children's removal. On August 4, the court adjudicated the children as CINA pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(c) and (n) (2017). The children were placed with their maternal grandmother.

         Following the removal on June 20, the mother appeared at the removal hearing on June 27 but attended no other hearing or conference until the permanency hearing on May 31, 2018. She was not in contact with her attorney or DHS in the interim and the contact information she provided was not current. At the permanency hearing, the mother was informed of the date of the termination hearing. She did not appear at the termination hearing. She has not ...


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