IN RE ALYSSA Y. ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Brittany Sims on Jun 17, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Heather G. Inman, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Juanita Y.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Mary Byrd Ferrara, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Judge(s): FRIERSON

This is a termination of parental rights case, focusing on Alyssa Y. and Brian Y. (“the Children”), the minor twin children of Juanita Y. (“Mother”). When the Children were three months old, their maternal grandmother filed a petition with the Knox County Juvenile Court, asserting that the Children were dependent and neglected due to Mother’s drug use. The Children were placed in the custody of the maternal grandmother by order of the court entered January 23, 2009. When the maternal grandmother became unable to care for the Children in November 2010, they were taken into custody by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) and placed in foster care. DCS filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of Mother on April 26, 2012. The petition alleged several grounds for termination, including abandonment based on Mother’s willful failure to visit and support the Children, persistent conditions, and substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan. Following a bench trial, the trial court granted the petition after finding by clear and convincing evidence that Mother had abandoned the Children due to her failure to pay child support. The court also found clear and convincing evidence that Mother had failed to substantially comply with the permanency plan and that termination of parental rights was in the Children’s best interest. Mother has appealed. We affirm.