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In re T.C.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

April 17, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF T.C., T.B., B.B., K.B., and C.B., Minor Children, C.B., Mother of T.C., T.B., B.B., and K.B., Appellant, J.B., Father of T.B., B.B., K.B., and C.B., Appellant.

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

         A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to several children.

          Misty White, Sigourney, for appellant mother.

          Michael S. Fisher of Fisher Law Office, Oskaloosa, for appellant father.

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

          Peter W. Stiefel, Victor, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor children.

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

          VAITHESWARAN, JUDGE.

         The district court terminated parental rights to several children. Two of the parents appeal the termination decision.

         I. Father

         The appealing father is the biological parent of four of the children involved in this proceeding: C.B. (born in 2005), [1] T.B. and B.B. (born in 2009), and K.B. (born in 2012). The department of human services determined the father struck C.B, leaving a bruise on his face. The State charged the father with child endangerment, and the criminal court issued a no-contact order.

         Meanwhile, the department learned that the father struck another child, who has since reached adulthood, and the father sexually abused a step-daughter. The State charged him with crimes arising from these acts, and the criminal no-contact order was extended to all the children involved in this proceeding. The father was convicted of the crimes and was sentenced to three prison terms not exceeding a total of six years.

         The department sought and obtained orders temporarily removing the children from the parents' custody and adjudicating them in need of assistance. The State eventually petitioned to terminate parental rights. The district court granted the termination petition as to the father under several statutory provisions, including Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(f) (2018). The provision requires proof of several elements, including proof the child cannot be returned to the parent's custody. Iowa Code § 232.116(1)(f)(4).

         On appeal, the father does not challenge the district court's finding that the children could not be returned to his custody. Nor could he, because he was incarcerated at the time of the termination hearing. However, he does ...


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