In re Interest of NO, CAAP-21-0000528

CourtCourt of Appeals of Hawai'i
Citation151 Hawai‘i 131,508 P.3d 1217 (Table)
Docket NumberCAAP-21-0000528
Parties In the INTEREST OF NO
Decision Date06 May 2022

151 Hawai‘i 131
508 P.3d 1217 (Table)

In the INTEREST OF NO

NO. CAAP-21-0000528

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawai‘i.

May 6, 2022


On the briefs:

Kaupenaikaika F. Soon, for Mother-Appellant.

Asami M. Williams, Julio C. Herrera, Deputy Attorneys General, for Petitioner-Appellee, DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES.

(By: Leonard, Presiding Judge, Hiraoka and McCullen, JJ.)

SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER

Mother-Appellant (Mother ) appeals from the Order Terminating Parental Rights filed on August 26, 2021 (Termination Order ), in the Family Court of the First Circuit1 (Family Court ), which terminated Mother's parental rights to her pre-school-age daughter, NO (NO or Child ).2

In her Points of Error, Mother challenges Findings of Fact (FOFs ) 34, 73, 98, 100, 102, 103, 105, and 106 and Conclusions of Law (COLs ) 9 and 10, contending that they were made as an abuse of discretion. Mother argues that the record lacks substantial evidence that (1) she is not willing and able to provide NO a safe family home with the assistance of a service plan, (2) it is not reasonably foreseeable that Mother would become willing and able to do so within a reasonable time, and (3) the permanent plan of adoption is in NO's best interests. Mother asks the court to vacate the Termination Order and remand the case to the Family Court for further proceedings.

Upon careful review of the record and the briefs submitted by the parties, and having given due consideration to the arguments advanced and the issues raised, we resolve Mother's arguments as follows:

The challenged FOFs and COLs state:

[FOF] 34. The further trial on the DHS’ MTPR was held on August 26, 2021. Further testimony was taken from the DHS social worker Maili Taele and Mother. At the conclusion of the trial, the Court granted the DHS’ MTPR. Pursuant to HRS § 587A-33(a), the Court found by clear and convincing evidence that: (1) Mother and Father are not willing and able to provide the Child with a safe family home, even with the assistance of a service plan; (2) it is not reasonably foreseeable that Mother or Father will becoming willing and able to provide the Child with a safe family home, even with the assistance of a service plan, within a reasonable period of time; and (3) the proposed Permanent Plan dated October 26, 2020, is in the best interests of the Child. The Court terminated the parental rights of Mother and Father; awarded permanent custody of the Child to DHS; and ordered the Permanent Plan dated October 26, 2020.

....

73. Mother completed parenting education classes while residing at the Women's Way program; however, Mother is unable to demonstrate and effectively apply the skills learned.

....

98. Mother continues to minimize the severity of her substance abuse issues. Mother believes that she no longer suffers from substance abuse.

....

100. Mother failed to complete any substance abuse treatment, random urinalyses program, or individual therapy, as ordered by the Court.

....

102. Mother fails to understand how her behaviors and poor decision-making pose a threat to the Child's wellbeing.

103. Mother is not committed to meaningfully engaging in services.

....

105. Mother is not presently willing and able to provide the Child with a safe family home, even with the assistance of a service plan.

106. It is not reasonably foreseeable that Mother will become willing and able to provide the Child with a safe family home, even with the assistance of a service plan, within a reasonable period of time not to exceed two years from the Child's date of entry into foster care.

....

[COL] 9. The Child's legal mother, legal father, adjudicated, presumed, or concerned natural father, as defined under HRS Chapter 578A, are not presently willing and able to provide the Child with a safe family home, even with the assistance of a service plan.

10. It is not reasonably foreseeable that the Child's legal mother, legal father, adjudicated, presumed, or concerned natural father, as defined under HRS Chapter 578A, will become willing and able to provide the Child with a safe
...

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