Articles Posted in Maine Supreme Judicial Court

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating the parental rights of Mother and Father to their child pursuant to me. Rev. Stat. 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(iv), holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion. Specifically, the Court held (1) the district court did not err in its parental unfitness finding as to Father; (2) the district court did not deny Father due process of law when it based its findings of unfitness, in part, on Father’s unprescribed use of prescription drugs as stimulants; and (3) the district court did not err in determining that termination of Mother’s parental rights, with a permanency plan of adoption, was in the best interest of the child. View "In re Child of Troy C." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s and Father’s parental rights to their child pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii), (iv), holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion. Specifically, the Court held (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying Mother’s motion to continue the termination hearing and appoint a guardian ad litem; and (2) the evidence was sufficient to support the district court’s determinations that Father was an unfit parent within the meaning of the child protection statutes and that termination was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Child of Mercedes D." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Appellant’s parental rights to his son, holding that the court did not err or abuse its discretion in finding that the factors supported termination and that termination of Father’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. Specifically, the Supreme Judicial Court held that the court did not err or abuse its discretion in finding (1) Father was unwilling or unable to protect the child from jeopardy and that those circumstances were unlikely to change within a time reasonably calculated to meet the child’s needs under Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(B)(2)(a), (b)(i); and (2) termination of Father’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Child of Matthew R." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s and Father’s parental rights to their two older children pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), holding that the evidence was sufficient to support the determination of parental unfitness and that the court did not err by concluding that termination of the parents’ parental rights was in the best interests of the children. Specifically, the Court held (1) competent evidence in the record existed to support both of the two types of parental unfitness found by the district court; and (2) the court’s findings, based on clear and convincing evidence in the record, were sufficient to support its determination that the termination of each parent’s parental rights was in the best interests of the children. View "In re Children of Anthony M." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Father’s parental rights to his child, holding that the record supported the court’s finding of parental unfitness. Specifically, the Court held (1) the district court did not err in finding that, despite Father’s efforts, Father remained unable to protect the child from jeopardy or to take responsibility for the child within a time reasonably calculated to meet the child’s needs; and (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that termination of Father’s parental rights was in the child’s best interests. View "In re Child of Charles V." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court finding that Mother’s minor child was in jeopardy pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4035, holding that there was competent evidence in the record to support the court’s determination that the child was in circumstances of jeopardy. Specifically, the Court held (1) there was competent evidence to support the court’s finding that the jeopardy Mother presented to the child was prospective and not just historical; and (2) there was evidence that poor management of the child’s diabetes had bene a chronic problem and that Mother continued to expect the child to manage his diabetes without adequate supervision or assistance. View "In re Child of Angela H." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s parental rights to her child, holding that the record supported the finding of parental unfitness to the standard of clear and convincing evidence. Specifically, the Court held (1) the district court’s factual findings were fully supported by the record; (2) the district court did not err in finding that Mother remained unable to protect the child from jeopardy or take responsibility for him within a time reasonably calculated to meet his needs; and (3) the court did not err or abuse its discretion in determining that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Child of T'Mara C." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court finding circumstances of jeopardy to Mother’s newborn child’s health and welfare pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4002(6)(A)-(B), 4035(2), holding that the record evidence supported the court’s finding and determination of jeopardy. Specifically, the Court held (1) contrary to Mother’s contentions on appeal, the district court’s findings as to Mother’s inability adequately to care for the child and to make safe decisions with regard to necessary health care were supported by competent evidence in the record; and (2) therefore, the district court did not err in finding that the child was in circumstances of jeopardy. View "In re Child of Tiffany F." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Father’s parental rights to his two children, holding that the evidence supported the court’s findings and discretionary determinations. Specifically, the Court held (1) there was competent evidence in the record to support the trial court’s conclusion that Father was unable to protect his children from jeopardy and these circumstances were unlikely to change within a time reasonably calculated to meet the children’s needs and that Father was unwilling or unable to take responsibility for the children within a time reasonably calculated to meet the children’s needs; and (2) the evidence supported the court’s determination that termination of Father’s parental rights was in the children’s best interests. View "In re Children of Benjamin D." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s parental rights to her child, holding that there was sufficient evidence in the record to support the court’s findings and that there was not error or abuse of discretion in the proceedings below. Specifically, the Court held (1) the record evidence supported the district court’s factual findings of parental unfitness, as well as its discretionary determination that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest; and (2) the court did not err or abuse its discretion in finding at least one ground of parental unfitness and that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Child of Maranatha K." on Justia Law