IN THE INTEREST OF M.M., Minor Child, M.U., Mother, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Washington County, Daniel
Kitchen, District Associate Judge.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.
G. Daufeldt of Daufeldt Law Firm, P.L.C., Conroy, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Kathryn J. Salazar of Schlegel & Salazar, L.L.P.,
Washington, attorney and guardian ad litem for minor child.
Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.
mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her
child, M.M., who is under three years of age; was adjudicated
a child in need of assistance (CINA) on May 25, 2017; and has
been removed from the mother's custody since March 20,
2018. She asserts she has been denied due
process, there has been no showing that termination of
parental rights is in the child's best interests, and she
should have been granted an additional six months to seek
reunification. On our de novo review, In re
A.S., 906 N.W.2d 467, 472 (Iowa 2018), we affirm.
reject the mother's claim she was denied due
process. See In re A.M.H., 516 N.W.2d 867,
870 (Iowa 1994) ("Generally, the fundamental requirement
of due process is an opportunity to be
heard."). The mother had proper notice of the
hearing. As will be set out below, the mother was represented
by able and zealous counsel. Her counsel was able to confront
and cross-examine adverse witnesses, and an impartial
decision maker rendered a decision based on pertinent legal
rules and the evidence presented at the hearing. See
mother has long struggled with methamphetamine
abuse. At the time of the January 24, 2019
termination hearing, the mother testified she was three-days
sober when she entered her round of substance-abuse treatment
on January 3, 2019. She hoped to enter a halfway program after
completing inpatient care. She also testified she needed
mental-health treatment but had not participated during the
pendency of these juvenile proceedings. When asked about her
ability to parent while using methamphetamine, the mother
Q. Do you feel like you are providing good care to your
children when you are not sober? A. When I'm not sober?
Q. Correct. A. If I'm not sober, I'm not caring for
Q. You've had care of your children during this case when
you've been using; ...