In re A.B., No. 16-1359

CourtCourt of Appeals of Iowa
Writing for the CourtBOWER, Judge.
PartiesIN THE INTEREST OF A.B., Minor Child, D.M., Father, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 16-1359
Decision Date28 September 2016

D.M., Father, Appellant.

No. 16-1359


September 28, 2016

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Steven J. Holwerda, District Associate Judge.

A father appeals from the order terminating his parental rights. AFFIRMED.

Shane P. O'Toole of Law Office of Shane P. O'Toole, Des Moines, for appellant father.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kathrine S. Miller-Todd, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

Meegan M. Langmaid-Keller of Keller Law Office, P.C., Altoona, for minor child.

Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.

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BOWER, Judge.

A father appeals from the order terminating his parental rights. We find the father did not preserve error on his due process claims relating to his motion to continue. The father did not cite any authority to support his objection to the admission of certain exhibits on due process grounds, and therefore, the issue has been waived. Termination of the father's parental rights is supported by clear and convincing evidence, termination is in the child's best interest, and the juvenile court properly did not apply an exception to termination. We affirm the decision of the juvenile court.

I. Background Facts & Proceedings

D.M., father, and K.B., mother, are the parents of a child born in 2014. The family came to the attention of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DSH) in March 2015 due to a report of domestic violence and drug use by the parents. The child was adjudicated to be in need of assistance (CINA) pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(n) (2015). The child was removed from the mother's care on October 14, 2015, because the parents had violated a no-contact order and another incident of domestic violence had occurred. The child was placed with the maternal grandmother.

The parents continued to violate the no-contact order. In December 2015, the father fractured the mother's nose and injured her hand.1 The father was offered weekly visits, but he only participated in six visits with the child

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throughout the entirety of the case. Additionally, the father had minimal participation in the services offered him.

The father tested positive for methamphetamine in January 2016. His probation was revoked in Polk County and he was sentenced to five years in prison.2 On June 1, 2016, the father was sentenced to two years in prison on a charge of domestic abuse assault, second offense, in Jasper County.

On May 26, 2016, the State filed a petition seeking termination of the father's parental rights.3 On July 20, 2016, father filed a motion for continuance of the termination hearing, which was scheduled for July 22, 2016, on the ground the State had filed thirty-five exhibits that day. The juvenile court denied the motion to continue, stating, "Although the State is not obligated to provide its exhibits in advance of trial, it did so." The court noted the exhibits consisted of documents from the underlying CINA file and the father's criminal record. The court stated the father's counsel could object to exhibits during the hearing.

The juvenile court terminated the father's parental rights under section 232.116(1)(e) and (h). The court found termination was in the child's best interests, stating:

The father's ability to care for his child is obviously affected by his substance-related problems as shown by his "positive" drug patch and his repeated "no-shows" for the other drug screens, his repeated assaults on the mother and his failure to address his mental health and anger management needs, his indifference to exercising his visits with his child or even remain in contact with his child, his indifference to cooperating with services, and his current imprisonment. He has not been able to care for the child for the

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past nine months and will not be able to do so in the near future. His problems, as recited above, have prevented him from providing for the child's safety, long-term nurturing and growth, and physical, mental and emotional needs, and will continue to prevent him from doing so for the foreseeable future.

The court declined to apply any of the exceptions to termination found in section 232.116(3). The father appeals the termination of his parental rights.

II. Standard of Review

The scope of review in termination cases is de novo. In re D.W., 791 N.W.2d 703, 706 (Iowa 2010). Clear and convincing evidence is needed to establish the grounds for termination. In re J.E., 723 N.W.2d 793, 798 (Iowa 2006). Where there is clear and convincing evidence, there is...

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