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Case No. 19-1151

In the Interest of A.R., Minor Child

T.E., Mother-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Mother

Jesse A. Macro, Jr.

Attorney for Appellee State

Kathryn K. Lang, Assistant Attorney General

Attorney for Minor Child

Nicole Garbis Nolan

Guardian ad Litem

Karl Wolle

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Feb 19, 2020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Romonda Belcher, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  Special Concurrence by Tabor, J.  (17 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: Upon our de novo review of the record, the mother’s constitutional due process rights were not violated when the court denied her request to be physically present at the termination-of-parental-rights hearing.  Similarly, Iowa Code section 622.82 (2019) did not require the court to grant the mother’s request to be present at the hearing, and we find no error or abuse of the court’s discretion in denying the mother’s motion.  Finally, we agree with the juvenile court that the State proved by clear and convincing evidence that termination of the mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interests and the exceptions to overcome termination of her rights should not be applied based on the facts of the case.  So we affirm the juvenile court’s ruling in all respects.  SPECIAL CONCURRENCE ASSERTS: I write separately to concur in the result but note if the mother’s allegation a representative of the department of corrections declined to transport the mother to the termination hearing in the same county where she was incarcerated, the district court failed to use its discretion under Iowa Code section 622.82 to make the decision, which is within its purview, not the executive branch’s.  The record is inadequate to demonstrate how the determination was made, so I concur in the result.

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