In the Interest of J.A.J.W., No. 4-146/04-0191 (Iowa App. 3/10/2004), No. 4-146/04-0191

CourtCourt of Appeals of Iowa
Writing for the CourtSackett
PartiesIN THE INTEREST OF J.A.J.W., Minor Child, S.W., Mother, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 4-146/04-0191
Decision Date10 March 2004

Page 1

S.W., Mother, Appellant.
No. 4-146/04-0191
Court of Appeals of Iowa.
Filed March 10, 2004

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Kathleen A. Kilnoski, District Associate Judge.

A mother appeals from a juvenile court order terminating her parental rights to one child. AFFIRMED.

Roberta Megal, Council Bluffs, for appellant-mother.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kathrine Miller-Todd, Assistant Attorney General, Matthew Wilber, County Attorney, and Jon Narmi, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee-State.

John Heithoff, Council Bluffs, for appellee-father.

Troyce Wheeler, Council Bluffs, guardian ad litem for minor child.

Considered by Sackett, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Eisenhauer, JJ.


Sara, the mother of Jacobb, born April 1, 2002, has filed a petition on appeal following the juvenile's court termination of her parental rights under Iowa code sections 232.116(1)(e), (h) and (l) (2003). The parental rights of Timothy were terminated under section 232.116 (1)(b), (e) and (h) and the parental rights of any unknown fathers were terminated under section 232.116(1)(b). The father of Jacobb had not appealed. The sole issue Sara raises on appeal is stated as follows: "Sara feels she did not receive reasonable time to rehabilitate herself for someone who was so young and addicted." We deny the request for further briefing and affirm.

We review de novo. In re A.Y.H., 508 N.W.2d 92, 94 (Iowa Ct. App. 1993). The State has the burden of proving the grounds for termination by clear and convincing evidence. See In re T.A.L., 505 N.W.2d 480, 483 (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, 898 (Iowa Ct. App. 1992); see also Alsager v. Iowa Dist. Ct., 406 F. Supp. 10, 22 (S.D. Iowa 1975). A parent has the right to have custody of his or her child terminated only with the utilization of the required constitutional safeguards. See Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399, 43 S. Ct. 625, 626, 67 L. Ed. 1042, 1045 (1923); In re T.R., 460 N.W.2d 873, 875 (Iowa Ct. App. 1990). The parent-child relationship is constitutionally protected. Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U.S. 246, 255, 98 S. Ct. 549, 554, 54 L. Ed. 2d 511, 519 (1978); Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 233, 92 S. Ct. 1526, 1542, 32 L. Ed. 2d 15, 35 (1972).

There is a requirement that reasonable services be offered to preserve the family unit. See In re A.L., 492 N.W.2d 198, 201 (Iowa Ct. App. 1992); In re B.L., 491 N.W.2d 789, 791-93 (Iowa Ct. App. 1992); ...

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