IN RE: YARIEL S., ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Dec 29, 2016

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Robert Lewis Straight, III, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Yaron L.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter, and, W. Derek Green, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Judge(s): SWINEY

This appeal arises from a termination of parental rights. The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) filed a petition in the Juvenile Court for Knox County (“the Juvenile Court”) seeking to terminate the parental rights of Yaron L. (“Father”) to his four minor children Yariel, Yaron, Yariyana, and YariAsia (“the Children”). After a trial, the Juvenile Court terminated Father’s parental rights on the grounds of persistent conditions and substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan. The Juvenile Court also found that termination of Father’s parental rights was in the Children’s best interest. Father appeals to this Court. Father argues that he was not properly notified of the trial, that counsel should have been appointed, and that termination of his parental rights is not in the Children’s best interest. We hold that that the evidence in the record on appeal shows, as found by the Juvenile Court, that Father was notified of trial, that Father failed to appear at trial, and that the Juvenile Court did not err in declining to appoint Father counsel when he failed to appear. We also find and hold that the Juvenile Court’s determinations regarding grounds for termination and the Children’s best interest are supported by clear and convincing evidence. We affirm the judgment of the Juvenile Court.