Termination of Parental Rights

Issues: Termination under § 19b(3)(l); In re McIntyre; Improper collateral attack; In re Hatcher; Failure to preserve an issue for appeal; Mitchell v. Mitchell; In re VanDalen; Due process; Notice; MCL 712A.12; MCR 3.920(B); In re Atkins; In re Rood; Alternative service; MCL 712A.13; MCR 3.920(B)(4)(b); In re SZ; Whether the DHS was required to provide reunification services where the goal was termination; In re HRC; Best interests of the children; MCL 712A.19b(5); In re Moss; In re Olive/Metts Minors

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished)

Case Name: In re Thomas/Anglin/Davis

e-Journal Number: 58230

Judge(s): Per Curiam – Meter, K.F. Kelly, and M.J. Kelly

 

The court held that the trial court properly terminated the respondent-mother's parental rights to the children where at least one statutory ground for termination existed and it was in their best interests. On appeal, the court rejected her argument that the trial court clearly erred by finding that a statutory ground to terminate her parental rights was established. "The trial court did not clearly err in finding that the ground for termination under subsection (3)(l) was established by clear and convincing evidence. Termination under that provision is appropriate where the parent's rights to another child were terminated as a result of proceedings under section 2(b) or a similar law of another state. Here, the evidence clearly established that this occurred." It also rejected her argument that the prior termination order was void because she had no notice of those proceedings and thus, was denied due process. "The testimony established that respondent could not be located during the prior proceedings, and those circumstances would have justified alternative service." Further, she did not establish "that some form of alternative service did not occur. The record contains no suggestion of deficiencies in service in respondent's prior case and, other than her speculation, she has presented nothing suggesting that any error occurred." Finally, the court rejected her claim that the trial court erred in determining that terminating her parental rights was in the children's best interests, noting her prior terminations, drug use, mental health issues, inability to care for the children, and poor prognosis for recovery. "[I]t is clear that a preponderance of the evidence before the trial court established that termination of respondent's parental rights was in the best interests of the children, and the trial court did not clearly err in its best-interests determination." Affirmed.

 

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