J.L.P., In Interest of, No. 88-1406

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtConsidered by McGIVERIN; SCHULTZ
Citation449 N.W.2d 349
PartiesIn the Interest of J.L.P., J.A.S.P. and J.E.S., Children. J.S., Mother, Appellant, v. STATE of Iowa, Appellee.
Decision Date20 December 1989
Docket NumberNo. 88-1406

Page 349

449 N.W.2d 349
In the Interest of J.L.P., J.A.S.P. and J.E.S., Children.
J.S., Mother, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Iowa, Appellee.
No. 88-1406.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
Dec. 20, 1989.

Page 350

Michael T. Hines of McCarthy & Lammers, Davenport, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Atty. Gen., Gordon E. Allen, Deputy Atty. Gen., and Charles K. Phillips, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

Jerald Feuerbach, Davenport, guardian ad litem for the children.

Considered by McGIVERIN, C.J., and HARRIS, LARSON, SCHULTZ, and ANDREASEN, JJ.

SCHULTZ, Justice.

J.S., the mother of three children, appeals from a juvenile court order terminating her parental rights. The three putative fathers did not contest the initial termination proceeding, nor did they appeal the court order. The court of appeals reversed the juvenile court ruling, holding that there is not clear and convincing evidence to establish that the children could not be returned safely to their mother's custody. The State and the attorney and guardian ad litem for the children seek further review of the court of appeals decision. We vacate the decision of the court of appeals and affirm the judgment of the juvenile court.

J.S. was born in 1964. She has lived most of her life in Iowa. Her parents were divorced when she was young, and she lived with her mother until she was thirteen years old. When her mother threw her out of the house, she moved to another city to live with her father and stepmother. J.S. has described the pain of being abused as a child and of being rejected by her siblings and her mother. She became pregnant when she was sixteen but was able to complete high school. Her children, J.L.P., J.A.S.P. and J.E.S., were born in 1981, 1983 and 1986, respectively. In 1985 she married a man who, soon after, was incarcerated on an armed robbery charge. Although they cohabited following his release from prison, they are now divorced.

On September 26, 1986, J.S.'s aunt filed a child abuse report alleging that J.S. "beat on the children all the time." At this time J.S. and the children were living with her aunt and several other family members. An investigator from the Department of Human Services determined this report to be founded. The investigator found six areas of injury on J.A.S.P.'s back consisting of linear marks caused by being struck with a switch. J.L.P. had a circular bruise on his back. Both children indicated that their mother whipped them with belts and switches. Relatives confirmed this conduct. J.S. testified at the termination hearing that "I did whop them with a belt and

Page 351

switch" and admitted she was responsible for their injuries.

Because of the tension caused by the reports of physical abuse, the relatives asked J.S. and the children to leave their home. As the state investigators feared that the children would not be safe away from their relatives, they petitioned to have them adjudicated in need of assistance. On October 23, 1986, all three children were placed in foster care. All parties subsequently stipulated that the children were in need of assistance, because their mother had physically abused or neglected them or was imminently likely to do so. The juvenile court ordered the children adjudged in need of assistance pursuant to Iowa Code 232.2(6)(b) (1985) on December 12, 1986. In February 1987 the juvenile court gave legal custody of the children to the Scott County Department of Human Services for placement outside the home and allowed J.S. reasonable visitation privileges. This order was reviewed in August 1987, and the court found that the children should remain in foster care with supervised visitation.

In early 1988 the juvenile court directed that either the Scott County Attorney or the children's attorney institute proceedings to terminate the parent-child relationship. The State filed the present petition to terminate the parental rights of the mother and all three fathers. The children's attorney and guardian ad litem filed a statement supporting the State's petition.

The juvenile court terminated the parental rights between the three children and their mother pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(e) (1987), as amended. That section provides for termination if the court finds that all of the following have occurred:

(1) The child has been adjudicated a child in need of assistance pursuant to section 232.96.

(2) The custody of the child has been transferred from the child's parents for placement pursuant to section 232.102 for at least twelve of the last eighteen months.

(3) There is clear and convincing evidence that the child cannot be returned to the custody of the child's parents as provided in section 232.102.

J.S. concedes that the first two elements of section 232.116(1)(e) are satisfied but challenges the sufficiency of the evidence presented to establish that the children cannot safely be returned to her custody. Proof of any one of the types of harm outlined in Iowa Code section 232.2(6) (1987), previously section 232.2(5), is sufficient to support termination. See In re Chad, 318...

To continue reading

Request your trial
35 practice notes
  • In re J.E., No. 06-0459.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 17, 2006
    ...to continue to keep them in temporary foster homes while the natural parents get their lives together." Id. (citing In re J.L.P., 449 N.W.2d 349, 353 (Iowa 1989)). Robyn was given approximately sixteen months to demonstrate her ability to care for Jerimiah. She continues to struggle with th......
  • In re Interest of A.S., No. 17-0851
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 19, 2018
    ...nor the [guardian ad litem] believed [the child] could be safely returned to her parents at the time of trial."); In re J.L.P. , 449 N.W.2d 349, 353 (Iowa 1989) ("In affirming the juvenile court's decision to terminate the parent-child relationship, we note that the guardian ad litem for th......
  • In the Interest of H.F., No. 9-201/09-0206 (Iowa App. 4/8/2009), No. 9-201/09-0206.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Iowa
    • April 8, 2009
    ...of the mother's parental rights is in the child's best interest. See In re L.L., 459 N.W.2d 489, 493-94 (Iowa 1990); In re J.L.P., 449 N.W.2d 349, 353 (Iowa Recusal. The mother contends the judge who presided over the termination proceedings erred by failing to recuse herself after the moth......
  • E.B.L., In Interest of, No. 92-1372
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 16, 1993
    ...remains a "child in need of assistance" as defined in section 232.2(6). See In re M.W., 458 N.W.2d 847, 850 (Iowa 1990); In re J.L.P., 449 N.W.2d 349, 351 (Iowa 1989); In re K.F., 437 N.W.2d 559, 562 (Iowa 1989). The juvenile court relied on four alternative definitions in its findings. Upo......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
35 cases
  • In re J.E., No. 06-0459.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 17, 2006
    ...to continue to keep them in temporary foster homes while the natural parents get their lives together." Id. (citing In re J.L.P., 449 N.W.2d 349, 353 (Iowa 1989)). Robyn was given approximately sixteen months to demonstrate her ability to care for Jerimiah. She continues to struggle with th......
  • In re Interest of A.S., No. 17-0851
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 19, 2018
    ...nor the [guardian ad litem] believed [the child] could be safely returned to her parents at the time of trial."); In re J.L.P. , 449 N.W.2d 349, 353 (Iowa 1989) ("In affirming the juvenile court's decision to terminate the parent-child relationship, we note that the guardian ad litem for th......
  • In the Interest of H.F., No. 9-201/09-0206 (Iowa App. 4/8/2009), No. 9-201/09-0206.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Iowa
    • April 8, 2009
    ...of the mother's parental rights is in the child's best interest. See In re L.L., 459 N.W.2d 489, 493-94 (Iowa 1990); In re J.L.P., 449 N.W.2d 349, 353 (Iowa Recusal. The mother contends the judge who presided over the termination proceedings erred by failing to recuse herself after the moth......
  • E.B.L., In Interest of, No. 92-1372
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 16, 1993
    ...remains a "child in need of assistance" as defined in section 232.2(6). See In re M.W., 458 N.W.2d 847, 850 (Iowa 1990); In re J.L.P., 449 N.W.2d 349, 351 (Iowa 1989); In re K.F., 437 N.W.2d 559, 562 (Iowa 1989). The juvenile court relied on four alternative definitions in its findings. Upo......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT