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In re K.P.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

June 19, 2019

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

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, Karen Kaufman Salic, District Associate Judge.

         A mother and the father of one of her children appeal the juvenile court's removal order in a child-in-need-of-assistance proceeding.

          Elizabeth A. Batey of Vickers Law Office, Greene, for appellant mother.

          Danielle M. Ellingson of Eggert, Erb, Kuehner & DeBower, P.L.C., Charles City, for appellant father of K.P.

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

          Cameron Sprecher of Prichard Law Office, PC, Charles City, for appellee father J.B.

          Cynthia S. Schuknecht of Noah, Smith & Schuknect, P.L.C., Charles City, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor children.

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

          BOWER, Judge.

         A mother and the father of one of her children appeal the juvenile court's removal order in a child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) proceeding. We find there is not clear and convincing evidence supporting removal of the children. We reverse the district court's removal of all the children from the mother's custody, and removal of the youngest child from her father's custody.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         K.P. is the mother of eight children: K.P., born in 2004; K.P., born in 2005; J.P., born in 2006; J.P., born in 2008; K.P., born in 2013; J.P., born in 2014; K.P., born in 2015; and K.P., born in 2017. J.B. (the father) is the father of the seven older children and legal father to the youngest child. B.S. is biological father to the youngest child.

         Over the course of 2018, ten different child protective services investigations were initiated; all ten were unconfirmed. By the last report at the beginning of November, the Iowa Department of Human Service (DHS) placed the children at "a high level of risk." The allegations involve multiple children, and included abuse, use of dangerous substances around the children, denial of critical care, and failure to supervise the children. The mother and her paramour, B.S., began voluntary participation in a family services program in mid-2018. The father moved to Texas for several months in 2018, leaving all the children in the mother's care.

         In August 2018, the police were called for a domestic violence incident between the mother and B.S., and DHS was notified as the actions occurred while the youngest child was present. The mother accused B.S. of hitting her, throwing objects, punching holes in her walls, and abusing controlled substances and alcohol. B.S. accused the mother of scratching him and stated he was the person who called the police. A no-contact order was put in place between the mother and B.S., but they dropped it in November. B.S. was living in the home again with the mother and children ...


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