J.P., In Interest of, No. 92-1328

CourtCourt of Appeals of Iowa
Writing for the CourtHAYDEN
Citation499 N.W.2d 334
PartiesIn the Interest of J.P. and E.S., Minor Children, M.P., Mother, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 92-1328
Decision Date23 February 1993

Page 334

499 N.W.2d 334
In the Interest of J.P. and E.S., Minor Children,
M.P., Mother, Appellant.
No. 92-1328.
Court of Appeals of Iowa.
Feb. 23, 1993.

Page 336

John M. Kinnamon of Kinnamon, Kinnamon, Russo & Meyer, Cedar Rapids, for appellant.

Bonnie J. Campbell, Atty. Gen., John M. Parmeter, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., and Kathrine S. Miller-Todd, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee State.

Edward Leff of Wilson, Matias, Usher & Leff, Cedar Rapids, attorney and guardian at litem for minor children.

Fae Hoover-Grinde, Cedar Rapids, for S.P., father of J.P.

Considered by HAYDEN, P.J., and SACKETT and HABHAB, JJ.

HAYDEN, Presiding Judge.

M.P. is the mother of four children: R.T., a daughter born on January 26, 1975; T.W., a daughter born on June 14, 1976; E.S., a son born on July 24, 1985; and J.P., a daughter born on September 25, 1986. Each child has a different father. Only E.S. and J.P. are involved in this appeal. The juvenile court placed T.W. in long-term foster care and discharged R.T. from its jurisdiction due to a failure to cooperate.

On July 12, 1989, the State filed a child in need of assistance (CHINA) petition with respect to all four children. The petition referenced an affidavit of a social worker from the Department of Human Services (DHS). The affidavit stated there had been a founded denial of critical care report filed against the mother. The report was based on injuries J.P. had sustained on her back and legs. The affidavit also noted a live-in boyfriend of M.P. had a record of founded physical abuse reports from the State of Vermont.

On August 8, 1989, the court adjudicated the children to be in need of assistance pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(c)(2) (1989). The juvenile court order provided the children were to remain with their mother and DHS was to provide protective supervision of the placements. Following a dispositional hearing on September 21, 1989, the children remained in the custody of their mother. R.T., however, was placed in the custody of her maternal grandmother. The juvenile court ordered DHS to continue providing protective supervision of the placements. In December of 1989 and January of 1990, DHS filed abuse reports against M.P. based on her lack of supervision. The reports cited M.P. with a denial of critical care of J.P. The reports found J.P. sustained burns on two occasions and failed to receive timely and proper medical care for a double ear infection on another occasion.

On January 22, 1990, an application for modification of prior dispositional orders was filed. A hearing was held on the application on February 6, 1990. On February 8, 1990, the juvenile court ordered the children be placed in foster care. The mother agreed foster care was the least restrictive placement.

Progress reports filed by DHS indicated the children were doing well in foster care. Social workers reported the mother made little progress with her case plan. They reported home visits between M.P. and her children caused the children to regress in behavior.

On November 21, 1991, the State filed a petition for termination of the parental rights of the mother and fathers of J.P. and E.S. After a hearing on the matter, the juvenile court terminated the parental rights of the mother, M.P., as to J.P. and E.S. pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(e). In its findings of fact, the court cited the court-ordered examinations of psychologist Karen Pirnot. Dr. Pirnot concluded M.P. lacked the understanding to meet the basic needs of her children and it was unlikely M.P. could maintain herself independently. The doctor also concluded M.P. does not appear to possess the capacity or motivation necessary to learn how to care for her children. Dr. Pirnot supported

Page 337

the termination of the mother's parental rights. The juvenile court also heard testimony from other individuals involved in administering services to M.P. and her family. Such witnesses included Barbara Garlinghouse, a social worker for Lutheran Social Services, Julie Simpson, a protective homemaker with the Linn County Home Health Services, and Aletha Panek, a protective service worker for Iowa DHS in Linn County. Garlinghouse and Panek both supported the termination of M.P.'s parental rights. Simpson opined M.P. lacked the ability to adequately parent her children.

The court also terminated the parental rights of both fathers. Only the mother appeals.

Our review of termination proceedings is de novo. In re W.G., 349 N.W.2d 487, 491 (Iowa 1984), cert. denied sub nom. J.G. v. Tauke, 469 U.S. 1222, 105 S.Ct. 1212, 84 L.Ed.2d 353 (1985). We give weight to the findings of fact of the juvenile court, especially when considering the credibility of witnesses; however, we are not bound by those determinations. Id. 349 N.W.2d at 491-92.

Our primary concern in termination proceedings is the best interests of the children. In re Dameron, 306 N.W.2d 743, 745 (Iowa 1981); Iowa R.App.P. 14(f)(15). In determining the children's best interests, we consider the children's long-range as well as immediate interests. Dameron, 306 N.W.2d at 745; In re R.M., 431 N.W.2d 196, 199 (Iowa App.1988). We also look to the parent's past performance because it may indicate the quality of care the parent is capable of providing in the future. In re L.L., 459 N.W.2d 489, 494 (Iowa 1990).

On appeal M.P. argues termination of her parental rights is not the least restrictive alternative available to the juvenile court and was not in the best interests of her children. M.P. contends the juvenile court should have ordered long-term foster care because it is the least restrictive alternative. In addition M.P. argues termination of her rights pursuant to chapter 232 violates her due process rights. M.P. contends if the court terminates her parental rights, she should still be permitted to continue visiting and communicating with her children.

I. The juvenile court terminated M.P.'s parental rights pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(e). The section provides the juvenile court may terminate parental rights if (1) the child involved is at least four years old, (2) the child has been adjudicated in need of assistance pursuant to section 232.96, (3) custody of the child has been transferred from the child's parents for at least twelve of the last eighteen months, and (4) clear and convincing evidence supports a finding the child cannot be returned to the custody of the parent at the present time. Iowa Code § 232.116(1)(e) (1991). We review the facts to determine if the requirements of section 232.116(1)(e) have been met. At the time of the termination hearing, the children were five and six years old. Both children had been adjudicated in need of assistance. Section 232.116(1)(e)(3) is also satisfied because E.S. and J.P. were removed from the custody of M.P. on February 8, 1990, and had been in foster care for one and one-half years at the time of termination. Our courts have recognized after the twelve-month period has elapsed, the case must be viewed with a sense of urgency. In re L.S., 483 N.W.2d 836, 840 (Iowa 1992) (citing In re A.C., 415 N.W.2d 609, 614 (Iowa 1987)). We have determined three of the four subsections of 232.116(1)(e) have been met....

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65 practice notes
  • In re Riley B., SC 20613
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • March 2, 2022
    ...continued visitation with [her children]," unless "such request is made prior to the actual termination"); see also In Interest of J.P. , 499 N.W.2d 334, 340 (Iowa App. 1993) (concluding that biological parent "has no enforceable right to visitation with her children once her parental right......
  • In re Riley B., SC 20613
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • March 2, 2022
    ...visitation with [her children], '' unless ‘‘such request is made prior to the actual termination''); see also In Interest of J.P., 499 N.W.2d 334, 340 (Iowa App. 1993) (concluding that biological parent ‘‘has no enforceable right to visitation with her children once her parental rights are ......
  • In re CB, No. 98-1719.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 1, 2000
    ...from being perpetually kept in foster care and to see that some type of permanent situation is provided for the children." In re J.P., 499 N.W.2d 334, 339 (Iowa App. 1993) (discussing the limitation found in section 611 N.W.2d 495 Once the limitation period lapses, termination proceedings m......
  • In the Interest of L.B.-A.D., No. 1-343 / 11-0456
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Iowa
    • May 25, 2011
    ...by P.L., 778 N.W.2d at 39-40. The children should not be forced to endlessly suffer the parentless limbo of foster care. In re J.P., 499 N.W.2d 334, 339 (Iowa Ct. App. 1993). The children are in need of protection and permanency. Given the mother's lack of progress during the case, we agree......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
65 cases
  • In re Riley B., SC 20613
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • March 2, 2022
    ...continued visitation with [her children]," unless "such request is made prior to the actual termination"); see also In Interest of J.P. , 499 N.W.2d 334, 340 (Iowa App. 1993) (concluding that biological parent "has no enforceable right to visitation with her children once her parental right......
  • In re Riley B., SC 20613
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • March 2, 2022
    ...visitation with [her children], '' unless ‘‘such request is made prior to the actual termination''); see also In Interest of J.P., 499 N.W.2d 334, 340 (Iowa App. 1993) (concluding that biological parent ‘‘has no enforceable right to visitation with her children once her parental rights are ......
  • In re CB, No. 98-1719.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 1, 2000
    ...from being perpetually kept in foster care and to see that some type of permanent situation is provided for the children." In re J.P., 499 N.W.2d 334, 339 (Iowa App. 1993) (discussing the limitation found in section 611 N.W.2d 495 Once the limitation period lapses, termination proceedings m......
  • In the Interest of L.B.-A.D., No. 1-343 / 11-0456
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Iowa
    • May 25, 2011
    ...by P.L., 778 N.W.2d at 39-40. The children should not be forced to endlessly suffer the parentless limbo of foster care. In re J.P., 499 N.W.2d 334, 339 (Iowa Ct. App. 1993). The children are in need of protection and permanency. Given the mother's lack of progress during the case, we agree......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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