In re Interest of W.C.

Citation339 P.3d 413 (Table)
Decision Date12 December 2014
Docket Number111,701.
CourtCourt of Appeals of Kansas
PartiesIn the Interest of W.C.

Kathryn S. Polsley, of Ottawa, for appellant maternal grandmother.

Brandon L. Jones, county attorney, for appellee.

Before HILL, P.J., McANANY, J., and BURGESS, S.J.



In June 2011, a month after he was born, W.C. was placed in police protective custody and then into the custody of the Secretary of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS). The following month W.C. was adjudicated a child in need of care. The matter was assigned to the district magistrate judge. Over the course of several months thereafter, both parents relinquished their parental rights and the court continued the child in SRS custody with the goal of adoption.

T.K. (maternal grandmother) sought placement of the child with her. At a permanency hearing before the district magistrate judge, and after consideration of a home study of T.K.'s circumstances, the court found that T.K. was not a viable adoptive resource. T.K. appealed the district magistrate judge's ruling to the district judge, arguing that the district judge had jurisdiction to consider the matter. Her argument was based on the holding of our court in In re N.A.C., 49 Kan.App.2d 699, 316 P.3d 771 (2013), overruled by In re N.A.C., 299 Kan. 1100, 329 P.3d 458 (2014). The district judge determined that he had no jurisdiction to consider T.K.'s appeal. T.K. appeals. After the district judge's ruling, the Court of Appeals decision in In re N.A.C. was reversed by our Supreme Court. In re N.A.C., 299 Kan. 1100.

T.K. asserts that the district judge had jurisdiction to hear her appeal from the district magistrate judge's denial of her request to have W.C. placed with her. T.K.'s appellate brief was filed before the Supreme Court announced its decision reversing our court in In re N.A.C.

Whether jurisdiction exists is a question of law over which our scope of review is unlimited. Frazier v. Goudschaal, 296 Kan. 730, 743, 295 P.3d 542 (2013).

In In re N.A.C., our Supreme Court held that the only appealable orders in a CINC case are those determining temporary custody, adjudication, disposition, and a finding of unfitness or the termination of parental rights. In N.A.C, the district court found that the state agency failed to make reasonable efforts or progress toward the adoptive placement of the child and therefore ordered that the child be removed from the state agency's custody and placed into the custody of the foster parents with permission for them to adopt the child. The Supreme Court declared that this was not an appealable order. 299 Kan. at 1101–02. Further, it declared that an order terminating parental rights is the last appealable order in a CINC case and specifically held that a post-termination permanency order is not subject to appellate review. 299 Kan. at 1118–19.

The district magistrate judge's order which T.K. sought to appeal to the district judge was a post-termination order regarding placement of the child. This is a clear-cut example of the type of court decision which is not subject to appeal under In re N.A.C.

Here, the issue is the jurisdiction of the district judge to review the decision of the district magistrate judge, not the jurisdiction of the ...

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1 cases
  • In re K.P.A.
    • United States
    • Kansas Court of Appeals
    • 12 Diciembre 2014
    ...339 P.3d 413 (Table)In the Interest of K.P.A. III, A Child in Need of Care, Date of Birth: xx/xx/2012.111,842.Court of Appeals of Kansas.Dec. 12, 2014.Jennifer Wyatt, of Salina, for appellant natural father.Kassie L. McEntire, assistant county attorney, and Ellen Mitchell, county attorney, ......

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