Issues: Termination under §§ 19b(3)(c)(i) & (g); In re VanDalen; In re HRC; Bouverette v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp.; In re BZ; Reasonable services to address respondent's mental health issues; In re Frey; In re Utrera; "Plain error"; Rivette v. Rose-Molina; Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished)
Case Name: In re Horner
e-Journal Number: 57858
Judge(s): Per Curiam – M.J. Kelly, Sawyer, and Hoekstra
The court held that the trial court properly terminated the respondent-mother's parental rights to the child where at least one statutory ground for termination was established by clear and convincing evidence. She was unable to provide proper care to the child at the beginning of the proceeding because she was abusing alcohol and prescription medication and was mentally unstable. She was diagnosed with ADHD, generalized anxiety disorder, and "negativistic, borderline, narcissistic, and schizoid personality features." She was ordered to attend counseling to address her mental instability. At best, she minimally complied with her agreement. She was also ordered to obtain and maintain a stable income. During the proceeding, her application for Social Security Disability was denied, as was her appeal of the denial. She failed to follow through with referrals to help her find employment, and only worked twice each month cleaning for a relative. In the weeks leading up to termination, she had to acquire state emergency relief so her gas was not turned off. Further, she failed to adequately address her substance abuse during the proceeding. The record clearly supported that respondent could not provide proper care and custody at the time of termination. Further, the record clearly established that there was "no reasonable expectation that [respondent would] be able to provide proper care and custody within a reasonable time considering" the child's age. During the 20-month proceeding, she "denied that she had mental health issues, entirely failed to address how she would manage her pain without using narcotics, and failed to create a relapse prevention plan." Further, given her lack of commitment, there was no evidence to support that she would obtain stable employment within a reasonable time. At the time of termination, the child was over 3-1/2 years old, had been in care for 20 months, and required permanency in the near future. The trial court's finding that termination of respondent's parental rights was proper pursuant to § 19b(3)(g) did not leave the court with a definite and firm conviction that a mistake had been made. Affirmed.
© 2014 State Bar of Michigan