Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re L.H.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 6, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF L.H., Minor Child, R.H., Father, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Christine Dalton, District Associate Judge.

         A father appeals a dispositional-review order in a child-in-need-of-assistance proceeding.

          Jean Capdevila, Davenport, for appellant father (until withdrawal). R.H., Dixon, pro se appellant father.

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

          Rebecca G. Ruggero, Davenport, guardian ad litem for minor child.

          Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.

          MULLINS, Judge.

         A father appeals a dispositional-review order in a child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) proceeding. He argues the juvenile court erred in finding the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) made reasonable efforts toward reunification and in failing to change the child's placement.[1]

         This is the second appeal brought by the father regarding this child. In the first appeal, this court affirmed the juvenile court's removal, adjudicatory, and dispositional orders. In re L.H., No. 19-0931, 2019 WL 5063336, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. Oct. 9, 2019). This court's prior opinion sets out the facts of this family's history through May 2019. Id. at *1-2. Following the May hearing, the father filed a motion asking the court to relocate the child's placement from a maternal relative placement to the paternal grandfather's home.[2] On June 5, the parents were notified the child would be moved to the paternal grandfather's home on June 8.[3] The guardian ad litem (GAL) representing the child filed a motion on June 6 to enjoin the placement change. The GAL's motion requested a gradual transition plan.

         Hearing on the father's motion took place on July 22. The juvenile court stated the paternal grandfather's home was not an appropriate placement option if the parents failed to reunify. The motion was denied, and court ordered the child to remain in his placement until he is returned to a parental placement. The order also noted the only service requested other than the placement change was for more visitation. The father appeals.

         CINA proceedings are reviewed de novo. In re J.S., 846 N.W.2d 36, 40 (Iowa 2014). Fact findings of the juvenile court are given weight but are not binding. Id. The court's "primary concern is the child[]'s best interests." Id. In CINA proceedings, the State must "prov[e] the allegations by clear and convincing evidence." Iowa Code § 232.96(2) (2018). Evidence is clear and convincing "when there are no 'serious or substantial doubts as to the correctness [of] conclusions of law drawn from the evidence.'" In re L.H., 904 N.W.2d 145, 149 (Iowa 2017) (quoting In re D.W., 791 N.W.2d 703, 706 (Iowa 2010)).

         The father argues the juvenile court erred in finding DHS made reasonable efforts toward reunification because all visits should have been in-home visits. The father also argues the district court erred in failing to place the child in the home of the paternal grandfather. Reasonable efforts are those made to:

eliminate the need for removal or make it possible for the child to safely return to the family's home. . . . A child's health and safety shall be the paramount concern in making reasonable efforts. Reasonable efforts may include but are not limited to family-centered services, if the child's ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.