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Case No. 21-1769

For summaries from opinions prior to August, 2018, view PDF versions here

In the Interest of J.V., Minor Child

J.K., Intervenor-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Intervenor

Scott L. Bandstra

Attorney for Appellee State

Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorney General

Guardian ad Litem

Tara M. Elcock

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Feb 16, 2022

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Madison County, Kevin Parker, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  Dissent by Tabor, J.  (10 pages)

            An intervenor in a child-in-need-of-assistance proceeding appeals the juvenile court’s decision to not bifurcate the guardian ad litem and child attorney roles and to not modify placement of the child to place the child in the intervenor’s care.  She also makes an evidentiary challenge.  OPINION HOLDS: The juvenile court did not abuse its discretion when it decided to not bifurcate.  Because modification of placement would require modification of the dispositional order, only those authorized by statute to seek modification may seek modification of placement.  The intervenor is not statutorily authorized to do so.  The juvenile court should have admitted certain hearsay evidence.  But because the evidence was ultimately admitted through other testimony, no prejudice resulted.  DISSENT ASSERTS: Because I believe J.V. needed a separate attorney to advocate for his placement preference, the court should have bifurcated the roles and appointed an attorney. 

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