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In re A.H.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

July 24, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF A.H., Minor Child, C.H., Mother, Appellant.

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

         A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights. AFFIRMED.

          Mark A. Milder, Waverly, for appellant mother.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

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

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and May, JJ.

          MAY, JUDGE

         The juvenile court terminated the mother's parental rights to her child, A.H.[1]On appeal, the mother contends the juvenile court erred (1) in permitting her trial counsel to withdraw following termination and (2) in declining to provide the mother with an additional six months to work toward reunification. We affirm the juvenile court.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         A.H. was born in 2011. The mother is a single parent.

         In 2013, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) first became involved with this family due to the presence of illegal drugs around A.H. as well as the mother's failure to provide supervision. The juvenile court adjudicated A.H. as a child in need of assistance from 2013 to 2015.

         In March 2017, the mother was convicted of felony forgery. The district court placed her on probation.

         The present case arose from concerns that, in December 2017, the mother was under the influence of methamphetamine while caring for A.H. During an interview with DHS in early December 2017, the mother admitted she was addicted to methamphetamine and had sought intensive outpatient treatment three times. Later the same month, the juvenile court again adjudicated A.H. as a child in need of assistance.

         In January 2018, the mother entered inpatient treatment; in February, she was successfully discharged. However, she relapsed while participating in outpatient therapy.

         In March 2018, the mother sought participation in the family-preservation-court program. She was discharged from the program due to her noncompliance with the program's requirements.

         In spring 2018, the district court revoked her probation. She spent nine months in prison. In December 2018, the mother was released to BeJe Clark halfway house. By February 2019, the mother engaged in outpatient substance-abuse treatment. A March 27 progress report noted the mother ...


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