Maximina V., In re

Citation44 Conn.App. 80,686 A.2d 1005
Decision Date07 January 1997
Docket NumberNo. 15569,15569
CourtAppellate Court of Connecticut
PartiesIn re MAXIMINA V. *

Maureen A. Chmielecki, Manchester, with whom, on the brief, was Jonathan D. Chomick, for appellant (respondent father).

Mary-Anne Ziewacz Mulholland, Assistant Attorney General, with whom, on the brief, were Richard Blumenthal, Attorney General, and Susan T. Pearlman, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee (petitioner).

Before SPEAR, FRANCIS X. HENNESSY and SHEA, JJ.

PER CURIAM.

The respondent father 1 appeals from the judgment of the trial court terminating his parental rights with respect to his daughter. He claims that the trial court improperly concluded that the state had proved, by clear and convincing evidence, the statutory grounds for termination set forth in General Statutes § 17a-112(b) 2 in light of the factors to be considered in a termination proceeding as set forth in § 17a-112(d). 3

A hearing on a petition to terminate parental rights involves two phases: adjudication and disposition. See Practice Book § 1042.1 et seq. During the adjudicatory phase, the trial court determines whether one or more of the statutory grounds for termination of parental rights exists by clear and convincing evidence. In re Tabitha P., 39 Conn.App. 353, 360, 664 A.2d 1168 (1995). If the trial court determines that a statutory ground for termination exists, it proceeds to the dispositional phase, where the court then determines whether the termination of parental rights is in the best interests of the child. Id.

In this case, the trial court concluded that three statutory grounds for termination were proved by clear and convincing evidence during the adjudicatory phase: abandonment; 4 failure to rehabilitate; 5 and lack of an ongoing parent-child relationship. 6 See footnote 2. In reaching these conclusions, the court in its memorandum of decision considered the factors set forth in § 17a-112(d) and made detailed findings on each, as the statute requires. Consequently, the court ordered termination of parental rights. The respondent argues that the evidence adduced at trial does not support the trial court's findings. We are unpersuaded.

"On appeal, our function is to determine whether the trial court's conclusion was legally correct and factually supported. We do not examine the record to determine whether the trier of fact could have reached a conclusion other than the one reached ... nor do we retry the case or pass upon the credibility of the witnesses.... Rather, on review by this court every reasonable presumption is made in favor of the trial court's ruling." (Citations omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) In re Christina V., 38 Conn.App. 214, 220, 660 A.2d 863 (1995); see also In re Felicia D., 35 Conn.App. 490, 499, 646 A.2d 862, cert. denied, 231 Conn. 931, 649 A.2d 253 (1994). "[W]e will disturb the findings of the trial court in both the adjudication and disposition phases only if they are clearly erroneous." In re Tabitha, P., supra, 39 Conn.App. at 362, 664 A.2d 1168.

Upon thorough review of the evidence contained in the record and the trial court's detailed decision, we conclude that the trial court's findings are not clearly erroneous.

The judgment is affirmed.

* In accordance with the spirit and intent of General Statutes § 46b-142(b) and Practice Book § 4166B.2, the names of the parties involved in this appeal are not disclosed. The records and papers of this case shall be open for inspection only to persons having a proper interest therein and upon order of the Appellate Court.

1 The child's mother and father were both respondents at trial, but only her father appealed from the judgment of the trial court. We refer in this opinion to the respondent father as the respondent.

2 General Statutes § 17a-112(b) provides in pertinent part: "The superior court upon hearing and notice, as provided in sections 45a-716 and 45a-717, may grant such petition if it finds, upon clear and convincing evidence, that the termination is in the best interest of the child and that ... over an extended period of time, which, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, shall not be less than one year: (1) The child has been abandoned by the parent in the sense that the parent has failed to maintain a reasonable degree of interest, concern or responsibility as to the welfare of the child; or (2) the parent of a child who has been found by the superior court to have been neglected or uncared for in a prior proceeding has failed to achieve such degree of personal rehabilitation as would encourage the belief that within a reasonable time, considering the age and needs of the child, such parent could assume a responsible position in the life of the child; or (3) the child has been denied, by reason of an act or acts of parental commission or omission, the care, guidance or control necessary for his physical, educational, moral or emotional well-being. Nonaccidental or inadequately explained serious physical injury to a child shall constitute prima facie evidence of acts of parental commission or omission sufficient for the termination of parental rights; or (4) there is no ongoing parent-child relationship, which means the relationship that ordinarily develops as a result of a parent having met on a day to day basis the physical, emotional, moral and educational needs of the child and to allow further time for the establishment or reestablishment of such parent-child relationship would be detrimental to the best interest of the...

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11 cases
  • Lauren R., In re
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • August 11, 1998
    ...the trial court determines whether the termination of parental rights is in the best interests of the child. In re Maximina V., 44 Conn.App. 80, 82-83, 686 A.2d 1005 (1997)." In re Drew R., 47 Conn.App. 124, 127, 702 A.2d 647 "The standard for review on appeal [from a termination of parenta......
  • State v. Vas
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • February 20, 1997
  • In re Tabitha T.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • January 26, 1999
    ...the trial court determines whether the termination of parental rights is in the best interests of the child. In re Maximina V., 44 Conn. App. 80, 82-83, 686 A.2d 1005 (1997). "On appeal, our function is to determine whether the trial court's conclusion was legally correct and factually supp......
  • In re Jonathon G.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • May 22, 2001
    ...the trial court determines whether the termination of parental rights is in the best interests of the child. In re Maximina V., 44 Conn. App. 80, 82-83, 686 A.2d 1005 (1997)." (Citation omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) In re Drew R., 47 Conn. App. 124, 127, 702 A.2d 647 "The stan......
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