In re D.M.

In re D.M., 2020 UT App 59 (Orme, J.)

Child Welfare

DFCS removed Child from Mother’s care and placed Child in a temporary home placement with Father. Two months into that placement, Father was arrested for driving under the influence. As a result of that arrest, a court terminated Father’s parole and returned him to prison for one to fifteen years. Subsequently, the State petitioned to terminate Father’s parental rights, and the juvenile court terminated those rights. Father appealed. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • The State presented sufficient evidence to support the juvenile court’s conclusion that Father failed to remedy the circumstances of Child’s removal under Utah Code § 78A-6-508(2)(d). Here, Father’s incarceration for violating his parole and his failure to complete domestic violence treatment was evidence of Father being unable or unwilling to remedy the circumstances that led to Child’s out-of-home placement. And Father’s 22-month incarceration in the recent past and current incarceration—even though the length was not determined—was a significant basis on which the court could find that there was a substantial likelihood that Father would not be capable of exercising proper and effective care in the near future.  

Read the full court opinion