IN THE INTEREST OF S.L., Minor Child, D.D., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Barbara H.
Liesveld, District Associate Judge.
father appeals the termination of his rights in his child.
D. Jacobsen of Jacobsen, Johnson and Wiezorek, P.L.C., Cedar
Rapids, for appellant father.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
F. Trachta of Linn County Advocate, Inc., Cedar Rapids,
attorney and guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.
juvenile court terminated Dominic's rights in his minor
child, S.L. (age 23 months), pursuant to Iowa Code section
232.116(1)(h) (2018). In this appeal, Dominic claims there is
insufficient evidence supporting the statutory ground
authorizing the termination of his parental rights. He also
claims termination of his parental rights is not in the
child's best interest, his bond with the child should
preclude termination of his rights, and he should be granted
an additional six months to work toward reunification.
review termination-of-parental-rights proceedings de novo.
See In re A.M., 843 N.W.2d 100, 110 (Iowa 2014). The
statutory framework authorizing the termination of a
parent-child relationship is well established and need not be
repeated in full herein. See In re A.S., 906 N.W.2d
467, 472-73 (Iowa 2018) (setting forth the statutory
framework). The burden is on the State to prove by clear and
convincing evidence (1) the statutory ground or grounds
authorizing the termination of parental rights and (2)
termination of parental rights is in the best interest of the
child. See In re E.H., No. 17-0615, 2017 WL 2684420,
at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. June 21, 2017).
first address Dominic's challenge to the sufficiency of
the evidence. Pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h),
the juvenile court may terminate parental rights when the
State has proved by clear and convincing evidence each of the
(1) The child is three years of age or younger.
(2) The child has been adjudicated a child in need of
assistance pursuant to section 232.96.
(3) The child has been removed from the physical custody of
the child's parents for at least six months of the last
twelve months, or for the last six consecutive months and any
trial period at home has been less than thirty days.
(4) There is clear and convincing evidence that the child
cannot be returned to the custody of the child's parents
as provided in ...