IN RE AUSTIN D. ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jan 30, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Sarah E. Coleman, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Nicole D.

Attorneys 2:

Philip M. Jacobs, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terry D.

Judge(s): SUSANO

The trial court terminated the parental rights of Nicole D. (“Mother”)and Terry D. (“Father”) to their minor children, Austin D. and Trinity D. (collectively “the Children”). Mother and Father separated after an incident of domestic violence; the Children remained with Mother. A drug raid at Mother’s house led the Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) to remove the Children and take them into temporary protective custody. DCS filed a petition seeking temporary legal custody. Later, the Children’s maternal grandmother, Lisa D. V. (“Grandmother”), filed an intervening petition and was granted temporary custody. A year later, Grandmother filed a petition seeking to terminate both parents’ parental rights; she seeks to adopt the Children. Following a bench trial, the court granted the petition based upon its findings, said to be made by clear and convincing evidence, that multiple grounds for termination exist and that termination is in the Children’s best interest. Mother and Father appeal. We vacate in part and affirm in part. As to the trial court’s decision that termination is appropriate, we affirm that ultimate conclusion.