IN RE ANYA G. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Aug 27, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Berry Foster, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Melisa G.

Attorneys 2:

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.

Galen Pickard, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.

Judge(s): FRIERSON

This is a termination of parental rights case, focusing on Anya G. (“the Child”), the minor child of Melisa G. (“Mother”). In October 2011, temporary custody of the Child was granted to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”), and the Child was placed in foster care. DCS subsequently filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of Mother and the Child’s father, Michael G., on December 27, 2012. The petition alleged as statutory grounds for termination abandonment by failure to visit, abandonment by an incarcerated parent who exhibited wanton disregard for the welfare of the child prior to incarceration, and substantial noncompliance with the permanency plans. Following a bench trial, the trial court granted the petition as to Mother upon finding that DCS had proven by clear and convincing evidence the grounds of (1) abandonment by engaging in conduct prior to her incarceration that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of the child and (2) substantial noncompliance with the permanency plans. The court also found clear and convincing evidence that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the Child’s best interest. Mother has appealed. Discerning no error, we affirm.