In Interest of D.B., No. 3-671 / 03-1274.

CourtCourt of Appeals of Iowa
Writing for the CourtSackett
PartiesIN THE INTEREST OF D.B., Minor Child, T.L., Father, Appellant, C.C., Mother, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 3-671 / 03-1274.
Decision Date24 September 2003

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IN THE INTEREST OF D.B., Minor Child,
T.L., Father, Appellant,
C.C., Mother, Appellant.
No. 3-671 / 03-1274.
Court of Appeals of Iowa.
Filed September 24, 2003.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, William A. Price, District Associate Judge.

A father and mother appeal the juvenile court's order terminating their parental rights. AFFIRMED.

Wendell Harms of Harms Law Office, Des Moines, for appellant-mother.

J. Mayer, Des Moines, for appellant-father.

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Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kathrine Miller-Todd, Assistant Attorney General, John Sarcone, County Attorney, and William Sales, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee-State.

Kathryn Miller, Des Moines, guardian ad litem for minor child.

Considered by Sackett, C.J., and Miller and Hecht, JJ.

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SACKETT, C.J.


Devontae was born in August of 2002. The juvenile court terminated the parental rights of his parents, Terry and Candi, on July 10, 2003. Terry's parental rights were terminated under Iowa Code sections 232.116(1)(b), (d), (g), (h) and (i). Candi's rights were terminated under sections 232.116(1)(b), (d), (g), (h) and (i). Both parents have filed petitions on appeal challenging the termination, asking that it be reversed or that further briefing be ordered. We find further briefing not necessary and we affirm the termination.

Devontae remained in his mother's care following his birth until September 23, 2002, when Candi was incarcerated and left him in the care of a family friend. Three men were identified as his possible father. There was a finding Devontae was a child in need of assistance as determined by section 232.2(6)(c)(2) on November 20, 2002. A dispositional hearing was held on January 6, 2003, and Terry's paternity was established at that time. There were no further hearings before a termination petition was filed on April 7, 2003. A hearing on the petition was held on May 29 and June 2 of 2003. A review hearing scheduled for June 6 was not held.

Terry contends (1) there was not clear and convincing evidence to support the termination and the juvenile court should have granted him custody or entered an order providing for services to unite him with his daughter and (2) that termination of his parental rights is not in the child's best interest.

Candi contends (1) there was not clear and convincing evidence to support a finding she abandoned her child as defined by section 232.116(1)(b); (2) the finding of termination under section 232.116(1)(d)(2) is not supported by clear and convincing evidence; (3) the finding that Devontae cannot be returned to her under section 232.116(1)(h)(4) and 232.102 is not supported by clear and convincing evidence; (4) there is not clear and convincing evidence supporting a finding that the offer or receipt of services would not correct the conditions that resulted in the filing of the child in need of assistance petition; and (5) the termination of her parental rights is not in the child's best interest.

The scope of review in termination cases is de novo. In re M.N.W., 577 N.W.2d 874, 875 (Iowa Ct. App. 1998). The State has the burden of proving the grounds for

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termination by clear and convincing evidence. See In re T.A.L., 505 N.W.2d 480 (Iowa 1993). A parent has the right to due process and a fair trial when the State seeks to terminate parental rights. In re R.B., 493 N.W.2d 897 (Iowa Ct. App. 1992); see also Alsager v. Iowa Dist. Ct., 406 F. Supp. 10, 22 (S.D. Iowa 1975). A parent's right to have custody of his or her child should be terminated only with the utilization of the required constitutional...

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