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Case No. 20-0781

In the Interest of C.M., J.M., and B.M., Minor Children

J.M., Mother-Appellant

T.M., Father-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Mother

Donna Bothwell

Attorney for Appellant Father

William T. Early

Attorney for Appellee State

Meredith Lamberti, Assistant Attorney General

Guardian ad Litem

Karen Mailander

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Aug 19, 2020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cass County, Jennifer A. Benson, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (9 pages)

            Jessica and Tony appeal the termination of their parental rights to three children.  Tony contends the court abused its discretion in denying his motion to continue the termination trial.  Jessica contends the State failed to prove the statutory grounds, the Department of Human Services failed to make reasonable efforts to reunify the family, and giving her more time for reunification was in the children’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: We find no abuse of discretion in the court denying the motion to continue.  The State proved the statutory ground for termination under one of the four grounds the juvenile court found and proved it made reasonable efforts to reunify the family.  Jessica’s substance-abuse issues substantially impaired her ability to respond adequately to the offered services.  Finally, because of her ongoing substance-abuse impairment, an extension of the time for reunification would not have been in the children’s best interests.  We affirm as to both appeals. 

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