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Case No. 21-0023

In the Interest of J.L., B.L., and K.L., Minor Children

J.L., Mother-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Mother

Michael S. Fisher

Attorney for Appellee State

Meredith L. Lamberti, Assistant Attorney General

Guardian ad Litem

Eric J. Palmer

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Apr 14, 2021

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Mahaska County, Rose Anne Mefford, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (11 pages)

            The mother, Jessica, appeals the termination of her parental rights to four children.  She contends the State did not prove the statutory grounds for termination; the court should have given her additional time; and it was not in the children’s best interests to terminate her rights.  OPINION HOLDS: Historically, Jessica has followed a pattern of seeking treatment for her substance-abuse problem without follow up.  Although she recently completed a first step of treatment, we cannot sanction a delay in permanency when her treatment history gives little reassurance that the need for removal will be resolved in short order.  For that reason, we find an extension is not warranted and statutory grounds for termination exist.  Finally, we agree with the juvenile court that termination serves the children’s best interests.  So we affirm.

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