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Case No. 17-1174

In the Interest of M.S., Minor Child

S.R., Mother-Petitioner-Appellee

C.S., Father-Respondent-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Father

Blake D. Lubinus

Attorney for Appellee Mother

Mark A. Simons

Guardian ad litem

Aida E. Bogaczyk

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Sep 26, 2018

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marion County, Thomas W. Mott, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Heard by Danilson, C.J., McDonald, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Scott, S.J. (6 pages)

            A father appeals the juvenile court’s decision to terminate his parental rights in a private termination action.  OPINION HOLDS: We determine the order terminating the father’s parental rights must be reversed because the father was not adequately informed of his right to counsel.  We remand to the juvenile court, where proper notice should be served on the father and proof of the service of notice placed in the record, prior to any rehearing on the merits of the petition to terminate his parental rights.  On remand, if the father requests the assistance of counsel and is financially unable to employ counsel, then counsel should be appointed for him.

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