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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother’s parental rights to her child pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii). The district court found, by clear and convincing evidence, that Mother was unwilling or unable to protect the child from jeopardy and unwilling or unable to take responsibility for the child within a time reasonably calculated to meet his needs and that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. The Supreme Court held that the court did not err or abuse its discretion in determining that Mother was unfit and that termination of Mother’s parental rights, with a permanency plan of adoption, was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Noah B." 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 pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii). The district court found, by clear and convincing evidence, that Mother was unwilling or unable to protect the child from jeopardy and unwilling or unable to take responsibility for the child within a time reasonably calculated to meet his needs and that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. The Supreme Court held that the court did not err or abuse its discretion in determining that Mother was unfit and that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Marcus E." 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 son pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii), (iv). The court held (1) given the trial court’s findings of fact, all of which were supported by competent evidence in the record, the court did not err in its unfitness determination, nor did it err or abuse its discretion in determining that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest; and (2) the Department of Health and Human Services complied with Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4041 by developing an adequate reunification plan and made a good faith effort to cooperate with and seek the participation of Mother throughout these proceedings. View "In re Landon S." on Justia Law

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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 twin sons and the parental rights of Mother to her daughter pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a), (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii), (iv). The Supreme Court held, contrary to the parents’ contentions on appeal, that competent evidence in the record supported the court’s findings that Parents were unwilling or unable to protect the children from jeopardy and otherwise take responsibility for the children within a time reasonably calculated to meet the children’s needs and that Father failed to make a good faith effort to rehabilitate and reunify with the children. Further, the court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the children’s grandmother’s testimony as hearsay. View "In re Hope H." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating the parental rights of Parents to their child pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii), (iv). Specifically, the court held that the findings were sufficient to support the trial court’s determinations that Parents were unable to protect the child from jeopardy or take responsibility for the child within a time reasonably calculated to meet his needs, that they had failed to make a good faith effort to rehabilitate and reunify with the child, and that termination of the Parents’ parental rights was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Braxton M." on Justia Law

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The district court did not abuse its discretion when it awarded primary physical custody of the parties’ daughter to Father. After Mother and Father divorced, Mother remarried and announced her intent to relocate to southern Colorado. Both parties sought primary physical custody of their daughter. The district court found that the child’s best interests were served by Father having primary custody. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court’s findings provided the court with a reasoned explanation for the district court’s decision to separate the child from her siblings; and (2) the district court did not err in admitting into evidence two letters written by Mother’s older child describing the child’s complaints about her relationship with Mother and recounting various instances of conflict. View "Paden v. Paden" on Justia Law

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Defendant Nan Hui Jo was convicted by jury of child custody deprivation, for which she was sentenced to 175 days in county jail and thirty-six months probation. She appealed, raising nine alleged evidentiary and procedural errors that occurred at trial, all of which she contends entitle her to a reversal of her conviction. After review, the Court of Appeal concluded defendant’s first and second arguments had merit, but the errors were harmless. View "California v. Jo" on Justia Law

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K.S. was detained by the San Francisco Human Services Agency shortly after her birth in January 2017, due to a referral indicating that mother had tested positive for methamphetamines during a recent prenatal visit. The dependency petition cited mother’s long history of substance abuse for which she failed to receive treatment; the termination of mother’s parental rights with respect to four older children based on her untreated polysubstance abuse; the parents’ history of domestic violence; father’s history of substance abuse, for which he failed to seek treatment until June 2017; and the termination of father’s parental rights to three other children. Mother and father challenged the juvenile court order denying them reunification services with respect to K.S., their only child in common, and setting a permanency planning hearing under Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26. Under section 361.5(b)(10) and (b)(11), reunification services need not be offered to a parent if the court has previously terminated reunification services or parental rights with respect to a sibling or half-sibling of the child and the parent “has not subsequently made a reasonable effort to treat the problems that led to removal.” The court of appeal affirmed; the record sufficiently supports the juvenile court's determinations and declining to apply a “best interests” analysis. View "Jennifer S. v. Superior Court" on Justia Law

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Failure to register with the Arizona putative fathers registry is a statutory ground for severing a father’s parental rights, and putative fathers must comply with Ariz. Rev. Stat. 8-106.01 to avoid severance pursuant to Ariz. Rev. Stat. 8-533(B)(6). Frank R.’s parental rights were terminated because he did not register with the putative fathers registry. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding that the juvenile court had correctly applied section 8-533(B)(6). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) compliance with section 8-106.01 may not be excused to allow the father to avoid severance under section 8-533(B)(6); and (2) because Frank did not register, despite having the opportunity and time do so, the juvenile court did not err when it severed his parental rights. View "Frank R. v. Mother Goose Adoptions" on Justia Law

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The parties to this appeal were an unmarried couple. Appellant Adam Vargo purchased the real property in which the parties formerly resided in his own name as sole owner, and executed a purchase money mortgage on it. Shortly thereafter, Vargo executed a warranty deed conveying the property to himself and appellee Brittany Adams as joint tenants with the right of survivorship. The couple broke up and Vargo filed a claim for equitable partition. Vargo testified at trial that he contributed the down payment to purchase the property and nearly all the mortgage payments made on the loan, and claimed that an inequity existed, requiring equitable partition of the property, due to the disparity of funds he paid toward the purchase of the property compared to that paid by Adams. The trial court found equitable partition was not an available remedy to parties who hold property as joint tenants with right of survivorship except in actions for divorce. In the order denying Vargo’s petition for equitable partition, the trial judge advised Vargo that he could sever the joint tenancy and then seek either a statutory partition under OCGA 44-6-160, or equitable partition if no sufficient remedy at law existed. The order also granted Vargo certain of his claims for conversion of items of personal property retained by Adams, but denied Vargo’s claim for attorney fees. Vargo filed this appeal, but finding no error in the trial court’s judgment, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed. View "Vargo v. Adams" on Justia Law