P22 This court has jurisdiction to hear an appeal from an order entered after a disposition hearing, including issues arising from the adjudication hearing. Due to the interrelation of the adjudication and disposition hearings, we determine the appeal may be properly and timely filed after the disposition hearing. Therefore, Mother's appeal is timely.
P23 Additionally, we conclude that the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in admitting S.A.K.'s video testimony or in finding it reliable and admissible under Utah Rule of Juvenile Procedure 37A. Therefore, we affirm.
P21 We conclude that the juvenile court did not commit reversible error in denying B.J.B.'s motions. Section 78-3a-404 does not apply to voluntary petitions to terminate parental rights. In any event, the juvenile court did not commit clear error in determining that termination was not in the best interests of the child. Accordingly, we affirm.
In sum, we conclude adequate findings supported the trial court's decision to maintain Mother's parental rights. The State did not satisfy its burden to present clear and convincing evidence as to why terminating those rights was in the best interests of C.K. and J.K. Practical considerations also supported the trial court's ruling. The trial court did not misapply the parental presumption, but correctly noted that the absence of optimal conditions does not, alone, overcome a parent's constitutional right to continued involvement with his or her children. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's denial of the State's petition to terminate Mother's parental rights.
The juvenile court's finding that Yates is an unfit parent is supported by clear and convincing evidence. Accordingly, the order of the juvenile court permanently terminating his parental rights is affirmed.
P18 In sum, the juvenile court properly concluded at the permanency hearing that the two oldest children should be placed in permanent foster care and the two youngest children be placed for adoption. In addition, the court acted within its discretion when it conducted the permanency hearing and the termination proceeding simultaneously. We vacate the permanency order and remand that matter to the trial court for additional findings articulating the court's reasons for simultaneously denying the petition to terminate and setting adoption as the permanency goal, and for reentry of a permanency order in accordance with those findings. Lastly, Parents did not preserve their right to appeal the court's order granting the State permission to administer psychiatric medications to the children; that order was not a part of the permanency order, and thus we lack jurisdiction over the issue. Affirmed in part and remanded in part.
P11 Insofar as the juvenile court deviated from the definition in section 78-3a-103(1)(a)(i) in determining whether L.P. is an abused child, it committed an error of law. Accordingly, we remand for entry of such additional findings as the juvenile court deems appropriate and for application of the definition in section 78-3a-103(a)(i) to those findings.
P27 The juvenile court did not err in failing to enter a finding that DCFS failed to make reasonable efforts in providing reunification services prior to terminating Parents' parental rights because the amendment to the termination statute was a substantive change that did not apply retroactively to Parents' termination proceeding. Because Parents failed at trial to argue that the juvenile court erred in relying upon a stipulation agreement in adjudicating Parents unfit, and because Parents do not argue plain error or exceptional circumstances on appeal, we decline to reach the merits of Parents' claim on this issue. Also, the juvenile court did not commit plain error in not declaring a mistrial. Hence, on these issues we affirm. However, the juvenile court committed legal error by not inquiring into Parents' complaints regarding their court- appointed counsel. Therefore, we remand for an evidentiary hearing to determine whether Parents' express dissatisfaction with court-appointed counsel justified substitution of counsel.6
Parents entitled to due process in state-initiated TPR case; fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in care, custody and management of children protected by 14th amendment which does not "evaporate simply because they have not been model parents..."
"the best interests of the child standard, standing alone, is an insufficient standard for determining when the State may intervene in the decision making of competent parents.
The Court also noted a "presumption that fit parents act in the best interests of their children."
June 2013 Parents "thrust into nightmare by well intentioned, but misguided doctors and child welfare specialists" says Illinois appeals court.
In re P.J., 2012 WL 5941508 (Mo. Ct. App.)
Where mother had resolved the reasons that led to the child's removal by completing her incarceration term and ceasing drug use and production, termination was inappropriate. Mother could parent safely in the near future with the assistance of a family member. Statute did not require a parent to assume all responsibilities of parenting alone.