IN THE INTEREST OF G.W., Minor Child, G.W., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Joseph Seidlin,
father appeals the termination of his parental relationship
with his three-year-old son. AFFIRMED.
S. Fishman of Hopkins & Huebner, P.C., Adel, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Wolle of Juvenile Public Defender, Des Moines, attorney and
guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Tabor, JJ.
father, Gregory, appeals the juvenile court's order
terminating his parental relationship with his son, G.W., who
was born in November 2015. The court found Gregory had a
"mounting history of domestic violence" and
untreated problems with alcohol and substance abuse, which
hindered his ability to parent G.W. On appeal, Gregory
contends the State did not prove statutory grounds for
termination, reasonable efforts to reunify, or that
termination is in G.W.'s best interests. Gregory also
alleges the court should have denied the petition to
terminate based on the closeness of the parent-child
relationship. In the alternative, he asks to delay permanency
for six months.
an independent review of the record, we share the conclusions
of the juvenile court. Gregory is not in a position to be
G.W.'s caretaker at the present time-he admitted that at
the termination hearing. And because his remaining arguments
muster no traction, we affirm.
Facts and Prior Proceedings
has engaged in a pattern of domestic violence over the past
decade. It was his assault on G.W.'s mother, Monica, in
the child's presence that drew the attention of the Iowa
Department of Human Services (DHS) in July
2017.The parents also were using controlled
substances and drinking alcohol to excess. Gregory was on
probation for cocaine possession at the time of the assault.
The court approved the DHS decision to remove G.W. from the
parents' care and placed the toddler with his maternal
next fourteen months, Gregory did little to improve his
parenting skills or his relationship with G.W. He had limited
contact with G.W. He participated in none of the
DHS-recommended services and continued to use drugs
frequently and drink alcohol heavily on a daily basis. As the
juvenile court observed: "He was relying on Monica to
reunite with [G.W.] rather than make the needed changes
in September 2018, things took another turn for the worse.
Police investigated another attack by Gregory against Monica.
She told officers Gregory grabbed her by the throat with both
hands and strangled her until she lost consciousness. He
struck her several times in the face. And he strutted around
the apartment with a gun, threatening to kill her. Officers
noticed marks on her neck and an open cut on her upper lip.
They found a .22 caliber magnum revolver in the couple's
bedroom. Gregory faced charges of felony domestic abuse
strangulation and spent the next three months in the Polk
County jail awaiting trial. He was granted pretrial release
in late December to attend residential substance-abuse
treatment in Fort Dodge.
October 2018, the DHS placed G.W. in the same household as
his three older half-brothers, who live with their father and
his girlfriend. The case worker reported G.W. was ...