IN RE J.R.P. - Articles

All Content

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Aug 20, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Mark J. Downton, Nashville, Tennessee, for Respondent/Appellant S.T.P.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr. and Alexander S. Rieger, Nashville, Tennessee, for Petitioner/Appellee State of Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Judge(s): KIRBY

This is a parental termination case. The appellant mother bore the child at issue when she was only 13 years old. After the mother turned 18, she was turned out of her mother’s home and moved often. At that point, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services intervened and the child was eventually placed in foster care. Months later, DCS filed the instant petition to terminate the mother’s parental rights. In the ensuing bench trial, the proof showed that, during an interim between non-concurrent trial days, the child was removed from his long-term foster placement and placed with a new foster family. The trial court found several grounds for termination and that termination of the mother’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. The mother now appeals only the best interest determination. We reverse, on the basis that the record does not contain clear and convincing evidence that termination of the mother’s parental rights is in the child’s best interest.