Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re D.S.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

April 3, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF D.S., Minor Child, H.S., Father, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Poweshiek County, Rose Anne Mefford, District Associate Judge.

         A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to one child.

          Landon S. Small of McKelvie Law Office, Grinnell, for appellant father.

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

          Misty White of White Law Office, Sigourney, guardian ad litem for minor child.

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

          TABOR, JUDGE.

         A father, Henry, appeals the termination of his parental rights to D.S., his one-year-old son. Henry does not contest the statutory grounds supporting termination. He contends only that termination is not in D.S.'s best interests. Because clear and convincing evidence backs the juvenile court's conclusion that adoption is the better permanency outcome for D.S., we affirm.[1]

         In September 2017-when D.S. was just three weeks old-his mother, Cassandra, overdosed on prescription pain medications. The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) removed D.S. from Cassandra's care and placed the infant with Henry. With the consent of both parents, the juvenile court adjudicated D.S. as a child in need of assistance (CINA).

         The placement with Henry was short-lived. Only a month after assuming care of his son, Henry attacked and strangled Cassandra in the presence of D.S. Henry received suspended sentences for domestic abuse impeding air or blood flow causing bodily injury and child endangerment. The juvenile court ordered removal of D.S. from Henry's care in October 2017, and D.S. has since been in foster care.

         A no-contact order resulting from his strangulation offense prohibited Henry from interacting with Cassandra throughout the CINA case. The child- endangerment offense likewise resulted in a no-contact order between Henry and D.S., which authorities modified to allow contact during supervised and semi-supervised visitations. The court also ordered Henry to attend Iowa Domestic Abuse Program classes. He did not begin the twenty-four week program until three weeks before the termination hearing.

         In a December 2017 dispositional order, the juvenile court ordered Henry to complete a mental health evaluation and follow through with all the recommendations; comply with the no-contact orders; submit to drug testing; participate in Family Safety, Risk, and Permanency (FSRP) services; and attend visitation with D.S. Henry obtained a mental-health evaluation and received a recommendation for outpatient therapy to manage his anger. Henry attended some counseling but stopped after a few months; he obtained a second evaluation just a few days before the termination hearing, leaving a gap of several months.

         In March 2018, Henry appeared to be making progress, so DHS allowed him semi-supervised visitations with D.S. When the DHS worker confronted him with reports alleging he was contacting Cassandra in violation of the court order, Henry denied the allegations. But several days later, police stopped his car and found Cassandra in the passenger seat, so they arrested Henry for violating the no-contact order and driving while suspended. Three days later, police again arrested Henry for violating the no-contact order. Cassandra called police when Henry came to her mother's house, where she was living, and acted aggressively. When police arrived, Henry fled out a window carrying Cassandra's medications with him.

         In July 2018, Cassandra reported Henry came to the house again and entered without permission, demanding she return some property of his and refusing to leave. He then threatened Cassandra's mother. Cassandra also believed Henry had been "stalking" her. Police arrested Henry for a third violation of the no-contact order. Although he largely denied the violations, the criminal court sentenced Henry to serve thirty hours in jail for the first two violations. The DHS returned Henry to supervised ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.