COA affirms TPR – parent’s claims fall on credibility grounds

State v. T.L.G., 5018AP1291, 9/4/19, District 1 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity T.L.G., who is cognitively limited, appeals the termination of her parental rights to her son. During the proceedings below her lawyer requested a competency evaluation; eventually the court appointed T.L.G. a guardian ad litem. T.L.G. ultimately pleaded no-contest to the asserted […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point COA affirms … Continue reading COA affirms TPR – parent’s claims fall on credibility grounds

When parent “admits” grounds TPR, court can find her unfit without taking testimony

Walworth County DHS v. S.S.K., 2019AP782, 7/17/19, District 2 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity During the grounds phase of the Walworth County’s TPR case against S.S.K., she “admitted” the ground of continuing CHIPS; she didn’t plead “no contest.”  This distinction proved decisive to the court of appeals’ decision to affirm the termination of […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point When parent … Continue reading When parent “admits” grounds TPR, court can find her unfit without taking testimony

County did not commit prosecutorial misconduct during TPR trial

Outagamie County v. J.M.J., 2019AP183, 6/27/19, District 3 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity The parties to this TPR case agreed that they would not bring up J.M.J.’s lack of rights, or the termination of rights, to her other children. But during the trial on grounds, an expert, responding to questions from the County, […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point County did … Continue reading County did not commit prosecutorial misconduct during TPR trial

Defense win! Judge can’t attend TPR dispositional hearing by video over parent’s objection

Adams County  Health and Human Serv. Dep’t. v. D.J.S., 2019AP506, District 4, 6/20/19 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication; case activity You don’t see defense wins in TPR appeals very often! In this case, D.J.S., the witnesses, the GAL, and counsel for both parties were at the Adams County Courthouse. For unknown reasons,the judge appeared by […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point Defense win! … Continue reading Defense win! Judge can’t attend TPR dispositional hearing by video over parent’s objection

No-contest plea to TPR grounds was valid

State v. T.A.D.S., 2018AP2173, District 1, 6/18/19 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity T.A.D.S. pleaded no-contest to the abandonment ground alleged in the petition filed to terminate his parental rights to his daughter, T.S. He argues his plea was invalid because the circuit court’s plea colloquy didn’t correctly explain the statutory standard for the […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point No-contest plea … Continue reading No-contest plea to TPR grounds was valid

COA clarifies summary judgment procedure and the “continuing denial of visitation” grounds for TPR

Juneau County D.H.S. v. S.G.M., 2019AP553-556, 6/6/19, District 4 (1-judge opinion; ineligible for publication); case activity This appeal presents two issues of TPR law: (1) Whether a county must file an affidavit in support of its summary judgment motion; and (2) Whether Juneau County satisfied the requirement of §48.415(4)(a), which governs the “continuing denial of visitation.” […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point COA clarifies … Continue reading COA clarifies summary judgment procedure and the “continuing denial of visitation” grounds for TPR

Harmless error and a “reasonable reading” of the record doomed dad’s appeal from TPR order

Dane County DHS v. T.S., 2019AP415, 5/9/19, District 4 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity At the grounds phase of this TPR case, T.S. challenged the circuit court’s application of  §48.415(2), the CHIPS ground for terminating his parental rights. He also argued that at the disposition phase the circuit court ignored one of the […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point Harmless error … Continue reading Harmless error and a “reasonable reading” of the record doomed dad’s appeal from TPR order

If 2 guys have sex with a woman who becomes pregnant, both better assume parental responsibility

E.M.K. v. Z.T.R., 2018AP1896, District 2, 5/1/19 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity That’s the upshot of this court of appeals decision. Before terminating a biological father’s parental rights, there must be a finding that he “failed to assume parental responsibility” under §48.415(6). But what if there is a dispute about whether he is actually […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point If 2 … Continue reading If 2 guys have sex with a woman who becomes pregnant, both better assume parental responsibility

TPR court erred in granting partial summary judgment at grounds phase

Brown County DHHS v. L.F.H., Sr., 2019AP145, District 3, 4/23/19 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity The County filed a petition to terminate L.F.H.’s parental rights based on a continuing denial of his periods of physical placement or visitation with his son, Leon (a pseudonym). The circuit court granted the County’s motion for summary […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point TPR court … Continue reading TPR court erred in granting partial summary judgment at grounds phase

TPR court had insufficient information to conclude it had jurisdiction

J.P. v. A.P., 2018AP1775 through 2018AP1778, District 4, 4/18/19 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity In this unusual case, the court of appeals agrees with a parent in a TPR proceeding that the circuit court may not have subject matter jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act because of an order issued […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point TPR court … Continue reading TPR court had insufficient information to conclude it had jurisdiction