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.

Hesseltine v. Sorensen

Court of Appeals of Iowa

June 19, 2019

DAMIAN LEE HESSELTINE, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DREWANN SORENSEN, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Washington County, Crystal S. Cronk, Judge.

         A mother appeals an order granting the father physical care of their child and awarding him the associated dependent-tax exemption. AFFIRMED.

          Constance Peschang Stannard of Johnston, Stannard, Klesner, Burbidge & Fitzgerald, PLC, Iowa City, for appellant.

          Kathryn J. Salazar of Schlegel & Salazar, LLP, Washington, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Blane, S.J. [*]

          VAITHESWARAN, Judge.

         A mother appeals an order granting the father physical care of their child. She also challenges the court's assignment of the dependent-tax exemption to him.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         DrewAnn Sorensen and Damian Hesseltine are the unmarried parents of a child, born in 2016. Sorensen gave birth to the child the summer after she graduated from high school. A month later, Hesseltine petitioned for joint physical care. The district court granted Sorenson temporary physical care of the child, subject to visitation with Hesseltine.

         When the child was seven months old, Hesseltine noticed a "soft spot on the side of her head." The University of Iowa Children's Hospital examined the child for non-accidental trauma. Personnel found a soft tissue swelling but "no fracture" of her skeleton. A medical consultant who evaluated the child for signs of physical abuse diagnosed swelling and an underlying skull fracture resulting from "one single impact" but concluded "[t]he fact that [the child] doesn't have any other skeletal, intracranial, or retinal injuries suggest[s] that this constellation of limited injuries occurred as a result of an accident." It was later determined the child fell from a changing table while in the care of her maternal grandmother.

         Meanwhile, the department of human services intervened to investigate Sorenson for allegations of physical abuse and neglect. The allegations were deemed founded. The State filed a child-in-need-of-assistance petition, and the juvenile court ordered the child removed from Sorenson's custody and placed with Hesseltine. The district court concomitantly stayed the custody action in light of the juvenile court proceeding.

         The child remained with Hesseltine for five months, after which the juvenile court placed her with Sorenson on a trial basis. The placement was successful, and the court ordered the child returned to Sorenson under the department's protective supervision. The juvenile court also granted the district court concurrent jurisdiction to proceed with permanent custody and child support determinations. The district court, in turn, lifted the stay and Hesseltine's custody petition proceeded to trial.

         At trial, both parents sought physical care of the child. The district court granted Hesseltine physical care and the dependent-tax exemption. Sorenson appealed following the denial of her motion for enlarged findings and conclusions.

         II. ...


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.