IN RE KALEB N. F. - AMANDA KAY D. N. AND WAYLON RAY N. v. CHRISTY SHANTAE C. AND MICHAEL L. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 13, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Joseph Y. Longmire, Jr., Hendersonville, Tennessee, for the Respondent/Appellant, Christy Shantae C.

Attorneys 2:

C. Jay Ingrum, Gallatin, Tennessee, and Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Petitioners/Appellees, Amanda Kay D. N. and Waylon Ray N.

Judge(s): KIRBY

This appeal involves the termination of parental rights and adoption. In August 2007, the Department of Children’s Services visited the home of the respondent mother and her 11- month-old son based on a referral. After it determined that the mother’s husband had engaged in domestic abuse and that the mother was using illegal drugs, the Department told the mother that her son would be taken into state custody if she did not immediately find someone to care for him. The mother’s neighbor, the petitioner in this case, agreed to take temporary custody of the mother’s son. Even though the child was not actually taken into state custody, but was “safety-placed” with the petitioner neighbor, the Department developed a Family Services Plan, assigning certain tasks to the mother for her to regain custody of her son. After about ten months, before the mother had completed the assigned tasks, the Department closed the mother’s case and ceased any involvement with the child or the mother. The child remained in the custody of the petitioner neighbor and her husband, and the mother visited the child each week. The mother brought the child items such as diapers, milk, and food, but made no monetary payments to the neighbor. When the child was three years old, the petitioner and her husband filed this petition to terminate the mother’s parental rights and adopt the child. After a trial, the trial court terminated the mother’s parental rights based on failure to comply with the Family Services Plan and failure to support. The mother now appeals. We reverse the termination of the mother’s parental rights.

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