IN RE SHANNON P. ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jul 16, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Gregory E. Bennett, Seymour, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tineaka P.

Attorneys 2:

Andrew J. Crawford, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Shannon P., Sr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Alexander S. Rieger, 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 the five minor children (“the Children”) of Tineaka P. (“Mother”) and Shannon P., Sr. (“Father”). The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of both parents on June 14, 2011. The petition alleged several grounds for termination, including severe child abuse, abandonment based on willful failure to support the Children, persistent conditions, and substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan. Following a bench trial, which concluded in February 2012, the trial court granted the petition as to Mother after finding by clear and convincing evidence that Mother had committed severe child abuse, that she had abandoned the Children due to her willful failure to pay child support, that she had failed to substantially comply with the permanency plan, and that the conditions leading to removal persisted. Father was granted an additional ninety days to attempt to improve his situation, and a hearing date was set for May 10, 2012, regarding the termination of his parental rights. At the conclusion of the bench trial on May 10, the court also terminated Father’s parental rights after finding by clear and convincing evidence that Father had failed to substantially comply with the permanency plan and that the conditions leading to removal persisted. The trial court also found that termination of both parents’ parental rights was in the Children’s best interest. Mother and Father have appealed. We affirm.

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