IN RE JAYDEN B.T. - Articles

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Posted by: Brittany Sims on Jun 24, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Cashauna Lattimore, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jayson T.

Attorneys 2:

Browder G. Williams and Julianna J. Loden, Kingston, Tennessee, for the appellees, Cassie L. and James L.

Judge(s): FRIERSON

This is a termination of parental rights case, focusing on Jayden B.T., the minor child (“the Child”) of Jayson T. (“Father”) and Britney B. (“Mother”). On July 2, 2013, the Child?s maternal aunt and her husband, with whom the Child had been residing, filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of both parents. Following a bench trial, the trial court found that grounds existed to terminate the parental rights of both parents upon its finding, by clear and convincing evidence, that the parents had abandoned the Child by willfully failing to visit the Child, willfully failing to support the Child, and failing to provide a suitable home. The trial court also found clear and convincing evidence as to both parents of the statutory ground of persistence of the conditions that led to removal of the Child. The court further found, by clear and convincing evidence, that termination of Father?s and Mother?s parental rights was in the Child?s best interest. Father has appealed.1 We conclude that the evidence was insufficient to support a finding that Father abandoned the Child through failing to visit him and therefore reverse the trial court?s finding as to that ground. In addition, we determine that the statutory grounds of persistence of the conditions leading to removal and abandonment through failure to provide a suitable home are not applicable to Father, and we therefore reverse the trial court?s findings regarding those two grounds. We affirm the trial court?s judgment in all other respects, including the termination of Father?s parental rights upon the ground of abandonment through willful failure to support the Child.

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