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In re C.H.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 23, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF C.H. and D.H., Minor Children, W.H., Father, Appellant, C.H., Mother, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Winnebago County, Karen Kaufman Salic, District Associate Judge.

         A mother and father separately appeal a permanency order involving their two children.

          Michael J. Moeller of Sorensen & Moeller Law Office, Clear Lake, for appellant father.

          Jane M. Wright, Forest City, for appellant mother.

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

          Phillip Garland, Garner, guardian ad litem for C.H.

          Theodore J. Hovda, Garner, guardian ad litem for D.H.

          Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.

          VAITHESWARAN, JUDGE.

         A mother and father separately appeal a permanency order involving their two children, born in 2002 and 2004. They contend the district court (1) should not have denied their request to cancel a no-contact order preventing interaction with their children; (2) should have lifted a sequestration order which prohibited disclosure of the children's locations; and (3) should have concluded that the department of human services failed to make reasonable efforts toward reunification.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         The department became involved with the family after the older sibling was alleged to have sexually abused the younger child. The older child was transferred to a youth shelter and became the subject of a delinquency petition. The younger child initially remained with the parents. The district court ordered him removed from the home after the father obtained permission to take the older child from the shelter to a designated city within the State but instead took him to an unauthorized out-of-state location.

         At the time of the younger child's removal, the State sought an order prohibiting contact between the parents and younger child or, in the alternative, supervised contact. The State cited the father's removal of the older child from the State. The district court issued a "Chapter 232 protective order" restraining the parents from having "any contact with" the younger child.

         The mother moved to have the protective order modified but, in the interim, she and the father left the State and failed to maintain contact with the department or service providers. Eventually, the father was found in Tennessee and was arrested on an outstanding warrant. Authorities returned him to Iowa, where he was jailed pending sentencing on an unrelated criminal matter. The mother returned to Iowa with the father. According to a ...


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