IN THE INTEREST OF K.C., Minor Child, S.K., Mother, Petitioner-Appellee, P.C., Father, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Dustria A.
father appeals the private termination of his parental
Gagne of Gagne Law Office, Des Moines, for appellant.
M. Naset of Hope Law Firm & Associates, P.C., West Des
Moines, for appellee.
W. Manning of Manning Law Office, PLLC, Urbandale, guardian
ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.
Potterfield, Presiding Judge.
an appeal in a private action to terminate parental rights
filed pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 600A (2017). The district
court terminated the father's parental rights to his
child, K.C., pursuant to Iowa Code section 600A.8(3)(b)
(abandonment). The father appeals, asserting there is
insufficient evidence of abandonment to sustain the
termination order and he was denied the effective assistance
of counsel. We affirm.
the mother, and P.C., the father, met and began a romantic
relationship around 2000. They had K.C. in 2005. The parents
never married. Their relationship was fraught with domestic
violence, and the mother moved out of the father's
residence in "the end of spring" 2008 and moved in
with her parents.
father was working 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. shifts at his place
of employment. He testified he cared for the child during the
days. This arrangement ended in July 2009. P.C. next saw K.C.
in February 2010. He has paid no child support.
father sent certified letters to the mother at her
parents' residence in June and July 2010. He did not
otherwise attempt to see or contact the child. S.K. testified
she did not receive either certified letter.
married O.K. in September 2010 and they moved with K.C. to
California. As S.K. testified, "My information in
California was public. I had a California driver's
license. My car was registered in California. I had
employment in California. I went to college in California. I
had no aliases."
sent a certified letter to S.K. at her parents' residence
in August 2011. He was aware S.K. had moved out of state.
Though earning more than $65, 000 per year, P.C. did not