IN RE PROMISE A., ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Mar 16, 2017

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Taylor R. Dahl, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Raymond S. A., Sr.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian A. Pierce, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Judge(s): DINKINS

The Department of Children’s Services received custody of two children as a result of a petition it filed to have the children declared dependent and neglected; the children’s mother had died, and they were unable to be placed with their father due to uncertainty regarding his paternity of the children and housing arrangement. After custody was granted to the Department and a permanency plan developed, the father established his paternity; the permanency plan required that he continue to address his housing and employment situations, among other matters. Eleven months after the children came into custody, the Department filed a petition to terminate Father’s rights on the grounds of abandonment by failure to visit or support, abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home, substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan, and persistence of conditions. After a trial, the court found that clear and convincing evidence existed as to all grounds and that termination was in the best interest of the children. Father appeals, contending that the evidence preponderates against various findings of the court, that the evidence does not support a conclusion that any of the grounds were established, or that termination is in the children’s best interest. Inasmuch as the children were not removed from the Father’s home at the time they came into the Department’s custody, we reverse the judgment terminating the Father’s rights on the grounds of persistence of conditions and abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home; in all other respects, the judgment is affirmed.