IN RE ALLEYANNA C. - Articles

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Posted by: Chandra Williams on Aug 10, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

David C. Veazey, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Allen C.

Attorneys 2:

Charlotte Kimsey, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Annaliza H. Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter, and Kathryn A. Baker, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Judge(s): FRIERSON

This is a termination of parental rights case, focusing on Allyanna C., the minor child (“the Child”) of Allen C. (“Father”) and Annaliza H. (“Mother”). The Child was taken into protective custody by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) on July 27, 2011, upon its investigation of environmental dangers in Mother’s home and subsequent determination that placement with Father was unsuitable. On April 16, 2014, DCS filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of both parents. Following a bench trial, the trial court found that statutory grounds existed to terminate the parental rights of both parents upon its finding by clear and convincing evidence that (1) the parents abandoned the Child by failing to provide a suitable home, (2) the parents failed to substantially comply with the reasonable responsibilities and requirements of the permanency plans, and (3) the conditions leading to the Child’s removal from the home persisted. The court also found by clear and convincing evidence that termination of Mother’s and Father’s parental rights was in the Child’s best interest. Father and Mother have each appealed. Because the statutory ground of abandonment through failure to provide a suitable home was not pled by DCS in the petition or defended on appeal, we reverse the trial court’s finding on that ground as to both parents. We affirm the trial court’s judgment in all other respects, including the termination of Mother’s and Father’s parental rights to the Child.

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