The Appellate Group

In re E.R.

In re E.R., 2021 UT 36 (Lee, A.C.J.)

Parental Termination

Mother’s parental rights were taken from her after the court determined, among other things, that termination was in E.R.’s best interest. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the court’s conclusion that termination was strictly necessary was not against the clear weight of the evidence. On certiorari, Mother challenges the court of appeals’ application of a deferential standard of review in termination proceedings. The Utah Supreme Court affirmed, holding:

  • The Utah Court of Appeals correctly applied a deferential standard of review to the juvenile court’s best interest determination. The governing standard in termination proceedings is the same deferential standard that applies to any fact-intensive decision of any lower court.
  • Clarification: The Court disavows language suggesting juvenile courts are entitled to more deference than district courts on review.

Read the full court opinion