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Case No. 18-1223

In the Interest of V.L., Minor Child

L.O., Intervenor-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant

Frank Steinbach

Attorney for Appellee State

Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorney General

Guardian ad litem

Kayla Stratton

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Dec 05, 2018

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Joseph W. Seidlin, District Associate Judge.  MOTION TO DISMISS OVERRULED; JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (13 pages)

            A temporary custodian, Linda, appeals a joint permanency and termination order transferring custody and guardianship of her niece to the department of human services (DHS).  The State filed a motion to dismiss the appeal, arguing Linda only intervened in the child-in-need-of-assistance case, not the termination-of-parental-rights case, and the permanency order she now challenges is not a final appealable order.  Linda also appeals the denial of her motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence and an evidentiary issue.  OPINION HOLDS: The motion to dismiss is overruled.  The joint permanency-termination order was not interlocutory but a final ruling on V.L.’s guardianship and custody.  And Linda did not have to intervene in the termination case when the court combined the proceedings.  Nor are the appeal issues moot.  On our de novo review, we reach the same conclusion as the juvenile court, that guardianship and custody should be transferred to the DHS, which can consider whether Linda is an appropriate long-term placement.  We affirm the district court's rulings on the motion for new trial and the evidentiary issue.  Neither would have changed the decision to transfer custody and guardianship to the DHS. 

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