IN THE INTEREST OF I.S., Minor Child, E.M., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Louisa County, Emily Dean,
District Associate Judge.
father appeals the permanency order regarding his minor
William Monroe, Burlington, for appellant father.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
A. Henkelvig, Danville, for mother.
Timothy K. Wink of Schweitzer & Wink Law Firm, Columbus
Junction, guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Bower, JJ.
father of I.S., born 2009, appeals the juvenile court's
permanency order, which affirmed I.S. as a child in need of
assistance (CINA), continued her placement with her
great-aunt, ordered visitation with her parents to be at the
discretion of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS),
and directed an order be entered to transfer guardianship and
custody to the child's great-aunt. The mother does
not appeal; however, she filed a response generally agreeing
with the permanency order. We review de novo. In re
D.S., 563 N.W.2d 12, 14 (Iowa Ct. App. 1997).
was removed from the home in May 2017 and was initially
placed with her paternal grandmother. She was moved to the
care of her paternal great-aunt one year later, in May 2018.
Following this move, the father began to protest I.S.'s
placement and minimally participated in offered services.
the father to be ill-suited to care for I.S. on a full-time
basis, the juvenile court entered a permanency order on
November 5, 2018. On appeal, the father asserts I.S. should
have been placed with him because there was no evidence she
would suffer adjudicatory harm in his care. The record,
however, does not support his contention. See In re
M.M., 483 N.W.2d 812, 814 (Iowa 1992) ("[A] child
cannot be returned to the parent . . . if by doing so the
child would be exposed to any harm amounting to a new [CINA]
adjudication."). A substance-abuse evaluation revealed
the father had a marijuana use disorder. He admitted to daily
marijuana use, which he attributes to managing his chronic
pain issues. During the hearing the father testified,
"It's an hourly condition. I get exhausted from
doing simple things . . . . Just severe pain and
discomfort." He admitted to using opiate pain
medications, and he tested positive for both marijuana and
methamphetamine in September 2018. His housing has been
questionable, moving from place to place and at times being
homeless, but he claimed at the permanency hearing to be in a
mobile home he shares with his girlfriend. He has not
addressed his anger issues. We agree with the juvenile court
I.S. could not be placed with the father, and it is in her
best interest to maintain her in the care of her
father also claims for the first time on appeal the
permanency order should have included a "parental
visitation provision," although visitation was left at
the discretion of DHS. The mother, while not appealing the
permanency order, asserts a similar claim in her responsive
petition. As the State points out, the father's claim is
not preserved. See In re K.C., 660 N.W.2d 29, 38
(Iowa 2003) (stating issues in a permanency proceeding
"must be presented to and ruled upon by the district
court in order to preserve error for appeal").
Additionally, he cannot assert a claim on behalf of the
mother, see In re K.R., 737 N.W.2d 321, 323 (Iowa
Ct. App. 2007), and the mother cannot raise a claim in a
responsive petition. See Iowa Rs. App. P. 6.201,
.202. Aside from any potential procedural missteps, we find
no basis to amend the permanency order, which left visitation
at the discretion of DHS while directing the opening of a
guardianship proceeding. Now under the jurisdiction of the
probate court, any visitation issues are better addressed in