IN RE MATTHEW J. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Dec 19, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Seth M. Lasater, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher W.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter, Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Judge(s): MCBRAYER

This appeal arises from the termination of a father’s parental rights. Shortly after Matthew J.’s birth, his father pled guilty to twenty counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of aggravated statutory rape. The Department of Children’s Services ultimately filed a petition for the termination of parental rights against Matthew’s parents. His mother surrendered her parental rights, and the matter proceeded to trial against the father only. At the conclusion of the trial, the juvenile court also terminated the father’s parental rights. The juvenile court concluded that grounds for termination existed because the father had been sentenced to more than ten years at a time when Matthew was under the age of eight. The trial court also concluded that it was in Matthew’s best interest to terminate Father’s parental rights. Discerning no error, we affirm.