Judicial: Cases on Termination of Parental Rights

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Judicial: Cases on Termination of Parental Rights

Postby Marina » Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:03 pm

Judicial: VA Cases on Termination of Parental Rights

http://www.courts.state.va.us/ed/resour ... %20rights'

Quotes: Appeals of Termination of Rights

evidence insufficient to support termination

failed to consider participation in services in the past

failed to consider recent efforts made toward remedying conditions

failed, without good cause, to remedy conditions

Social services didn’t make reasonable efforts to assist

“reasonable and appropriate” services

Not in best interests to terminate parental rights

Trial court applied improper legal standards and burdens of proof and law when making decision

Timely filing of foster care plans

Failed to consult with her concerning matters on foster care plan
(Consult does not require to agree)

failed to maintain visitation

Best interests of children

Neglect or abuse presented a substantial threat to the children’s life, health, and development,

Unlikely that conditions that resulted in the neglect or abuse can be substantially corrected or eliminated so as to allow the children to safely return in reasonable amount of time.

Despite these services, proof that parent, without good cause, has not responded or followed through with appropriate efforts by various agencies.

“Department did not show that father had not substantially remedied the situation. Specifically, the court found that the Department failed to show “to what point” the father was required to go to individual counseling and that the department did not prove father’s attendance at counseling “was a condition that required the children to remain in foster care.”
Newport News vs. Thomas Cooper Oct. 26, 2004, Record No. 1230-04-1 on Appeal of Termination of Parental Rights

(Argue that Department has failed to show that mother’s attendance at counseling was a condition of neglect that required the removal of the children. Therefore attendance at counseling cannot remedy an alleged neglect that did not occur. )

“Court incorrectly concluded that poverty, per se, militates _______ ? “
Campbell County vs. Woodruff Oct. 12, 2004, Record No. 0416-04-3 on Appeal of Termination of Parental Rights

“Johnson contends that it was contrary to the best interests of the children for her parental rights to be terminated. However, Johnson failed to present any argument supporting this contention in her briefs. Statements unsupported by argument, authority, or citations to the record do not merit appellate consideration.
We will not search the record for errors in order to interpret appellant’s contention and correct deficiencies in a brief.”
Darlene Johnson vs. Chesterfield December 20, 2005, Record Nos. 2078-05-2 and 2098-05-2 on Appeal of Termination of Parental Rights

Children “exhibited behavioral problems in the short time they were with another foster care provider because ‘they really wanted to come back.... I was really the only mother or grandmother that they really knew anything about.’ Due to the behavioral problems exhibited by the girls when they were in the care of the other foster parent... children would not do well in an adoptive placement.” Children “would be devastated, “ according to mother, if they were taken.”
Norfolk vs. Hardy March 2, 2004 Record No. 0931-03-1 and Record No. 0973-03-1 on Appeal of Termination of Parental Rights

“Thus, we cannot say that the trial court was plainly wrong in finding that DSS presented clear and convincing evidence that the children suffered from neglect and that it was not reasonably likely that Harmon could substantially correct this problem within a reasonable time. However, the statute requires more to terminate parental rights. It requires a specific determination, based upon clear and convincing evidence, that termination is in the best interests of the child. In fact, the plain language of the statute states that an explicit finding in this regard, based on clear and convincing evidence, is a prerequisite to the termination of parental rights.”

“In this case, the trial court based its decision that... Parental rights should be terminated on its finding that the children were progressing better developmentally at the .. Boys Home. In its decision, the trial court stated’“we are talking about opportunity here. This is an opportunity for these young men to somehow be brought into the mainstream, and I think to do that, the best opportunity for them would be if these rights were terminated.’ This observation fails to establish or even suggest that the trial court carefully evaluated the specific factors enunciated in Barkey.

Although DSS established that Harmon neglected her children and, without good cause, failed to respond to their rehabilitative efforts, these findings standing alone are insufficient as a matter of law to support the termination of parental rights. There must be an explicit finding that such a drastic action is in the best interest of the child.”
Harmon v. Richmond County Feb. 20, 2001, Record No. 0895-00-2 in the Appeal of Termination of Parental Rights.

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