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In re H.S.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 1, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF H.S., Minor Child, J.P., Mother, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clay County, Andrew Smith, District Associate Judge.

         A mother appeals removal and adjudication orders involving her child.

          Scott A. Johnson of Hemphill Law Office, PLC, Spencer, for appellant mother.

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

          Shannon L. Sandy of Sandy Law Firm, P.C., Spirit Lake, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor child.

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

          VAITHESWARAN, JUDGE.

         A mother appeals removal and adjudication orders involving her child. She contends the district court erroneously relied on her refusal to take a drug test in adjudicating the child in need of assistance and the court erroneously required participation in pre-adjudication services, including drug testing. She also argues the grounds for adjudication cited by the district court were not satisfied.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         The child involved in this proceeding was born in 2008. A child-abuse investigator with the department of human services suspected the child's mother was using methamphetamine. She recommended the filing of a child-in-need-of-assistance petition. The State filed a petition, alleging several grounds for adjudication of the child.

         After the petition was filed but before the adjudication hearing, the State filed an ex parte application to have the child removed from parental custody. The application alleged in part that the mother refused a drug test requested by a department child-abuse investigator. The State asserted, "Based upon the [mother's] refusal . . . to submit to drug testing, safety of the [child] cannot be assured in [the mother's] care."

         The district court granted the application and ordered the child temporarily removed from the mother's custody. Following an emergency removal hearing, the court ordered the child to remain out of the mother's custody. The court also required the mother to participate in a substance-abuse evaluation, follow treatment recommendations, and "submit to random drug testing."

         In time, the district court adjudicated the child in need of assistance. The court later filed a dispositional order requiring the child to remain out of the mother's custody. The mother appealed.[1]

         II. Mother's Refusal of Drug Test; Compelled ...


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