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Case No. 20-0854

In the Interest of J.H., Minor Child

The State seeks further review after the court of appeals reversed the termination of the father’s parental rights and remanded for dismissal of the termination petition as to him. The State contends the court of appeals erred in reversing the termination of the father’s parental rights pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(g) where the father’s parental rights to the child’s sibling had been terminated just a year earlier, the father continues to lack the ability or willingness to respond to services that would correct the situation, and an additional period of rehabilitation would not correct the situation.

County:
Polk

J.H., Father-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant Father

Alexandra M. Nelissen

Attorney for Appellee State

Ellen Ramsey-Kacena

Guardian ad Litem

Nicole Garbis Nolan

Supreme Court

Oral Argument Schedule

Non-Oral

Nov 17, 2020 1:30 PM

Briefs

Supreme Court Opinion

Opinion Number:
20-0854
Date Published:
Dec 18, 2020

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
20-0854
Date Published:
Sep 02, 2020
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Susan Cox, District Associate Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  Dissent by Greer, J.  (10 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his child.  He challenges the sufficiency of evidence supporting the statutory ground for termination and argues termination is contrary to the child’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude the State failed to provide clear and convincing evidence to allow termination under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(g) (2019).  We reverse the termination of the father’s parental rights and remand for dismissal of the termination petition as to him.  DISSENT ASSERTS: I respectfully dissent.  I would affirm the juvenile court decision to terminate the father’s parental rights because I believe the State showed by clear and convincing evidence that this father is unable to provide a safe long-term environment for this child.  The tipping point for me is the lack of involvement in the basic medical care of this young child who has a life-long medical condition.

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