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In re L.H.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 25, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF L.H., J.H., C.H., and D.H., Minor Children, D.H., Mother, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Emily Dean, District Associate Judge.

         The mother of children adjudicated in need of assistance appeals from a permanency review order.

          Joshua P. Schier of Cray Law Firm, Burlington, for appellant mother.

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

          Heidi D. Van Winkle of Van Winkle Law Office, Burlington, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor children.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Greer, J., and Mahan, S.J. [*]

          Mahan, Senior Judge.

         The mother of four children adjudicated in need of assistance appeals from a permanency review order, claiming the juvenile court erred in ordering a six-month extension and continued removal of the children. Upon our review, we affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         This family moved from Tennessee to Iowa in February 2018. In April, the children came to the attention of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) due to concerns of physical abuse, neglect, and drug use by the parents. A DHS caseworker reported the children were in need of medical and dental treatment, had never attended school, were not being fed properly, and had not received any immunizations. The children were removed from the parents' custody. In June, the juvenile court entered an order adjudicating the children in need of assistance (CINA) and numerous services were offered to the parents for reunification with the children.

         At the time of the permanency hearing in April 2019, DHS recommended the parents be given a six-month extension "to allow them to progress to reunification." DHS also recommended the children remain in family foster care. Following the hearing, the juvenile court entered its permanency order, granting the parents an additional six months to achieve reunification. The mother appealed from that order.

         Following the mother's appeal, the State filed a motion for limited remand to address the question of subject matter jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The supreme court granted the State's motion and remanded to the juvenile court "to determine whether Iowa has the proper jurisdiction for hearing these [CINA] cases or whether Iowa is limited to temporary emergency jurisdiction." On remand, the juvenile court entered an order determining Iowa has temporary emergency jurisdiction under Iowa Code section 598B.204(1) (2018). The supreme court then transferred the case to our court for disposition.

         II. Standard of Review

         We review permanency orders de novo, sorting through both the facts and law and adjudicating rights anew on the issues properly presented on appeal. In re A.T., 799 N.W.2d 148, 150–51 (Iowa Ct. App. 2011). We give weight to the factual findings of the juvenile court but are not bound by them. Id. We review ...


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