IN THE INTEREST OF J.L. and J.L., Minor Children, A.H., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Wapello County, William S.
Owens, Associate Juvenile Judge.
mother appeals the juvenile court decision terminating her
Jonathan Willier, Centerville, for appellant mother.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anna T. Stoeffler, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
E. Breckenridge of Breckenridge Law, P.C., Ottumwa, guardian
ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Greer, J., and Gamble, S.J.
GAMBLE, SENIOR JUDGE.
mother appeals the juvenile court child in need of assistance
(CINA) permanency order establishing termination of parental
rights as a goal of permanency and the decision terminating
her parental rights. She claims the State failed to make
reasonable efforts respecting visitation and family therapy
with a goal of reunification. We find the State engaged in
reasonable efforts to reunite the mother with her children
and termination of the mother's parental rights is in the
children's best interests. We affirm the decision of the
Background Facts & Proceedings
mother, and J.L., father, are the parents of J.L., born in
2002, and J.L., born in 2006. The mother and her paramour,
K.C., have a history of domestic violence. The Iowa
Department of Human Services (DHS) removed the children from
the home on June 29, 2015, after K.C. violated a no-contact
order by going to the mother's home. There were also
concerns because of drug paraphernalia found in the home. DHS
placed the children in foster care.
juvenile court adjudicated the children to be in need of
assistance pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(c)(2)
(2015). The court stated, "Clearly, the repeated
incidents of domestic violence in the home where the children
reside with their mother perpetrated by mother's paramour
(including one incident involving a claw hammer and another
incident in which [K.C.] threatened to kill [the mother])
place the children in imminent risk to life or health."
mother had a substance-abuse evaluation, which resulted in a
diagnosis of alcohol abuse. On April 9, 2016, police charged
the mother with public intoxication and interference with
official acts. Additionally, K.C. was charged with domestic
abuse assault for an incident involving the mother.
permanency order filed June 28, 2016, the juvenile court
stated, "The fear [the children] have of [K.C.] combined
with [the mother's] insistence on continuing a
relationship with him have bred a feeling of mistrust and
resentment between the girls and their mother which has yet
to be resolved."
case continued over an extended period of time as DHS worked
to reunite the children with the father. That ...