IN RE GARVIN M. ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on May 9, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Gregory E. Bennett, Seymour, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ryan M.

Attorneys 2:

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

Robert L. Huddleston, Maryville, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.

Judge(s): FRIERSON

This is a termination of parental rights case, focusing on Garvin M. and Brianna M., the minor children (“the Children”) of Ryan M. (“Father”) and Jennifer M. (“Mother”). In July 2012, the Children were taken into protective 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 and Father on February 26, 2013. The petition alleged as statutory grounds for termination: (1) severe child abuse, (2) abandonment by the parents’ failure to provide a suitable home, (3) substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan, (4) persistent conditions, and (5) abandonment by an incarcerated parent who exhibits wanton disregard for the Children’s welfare prior to incarceration. Following a bench trial, the trial court granted the petition as to both parents upon finding that DCS had proven all of the grounds alleged by clear and convincing evidence. The court also found, by clear and convincing evidence, that termination of Mother’s and Father’s parental rights was in the Children’s best interest. Father has appealed. Discerning no error, we affirm.