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In re G.R.

Supreme Court of North Dakota

February 13, 2014

In the Interest of G.R., a Child.
v.
G.R., a child, C.R., n/k/a C.S., mother, and W.R., father, Respondents State of North Dakota, Petitioner and Appellee W.R., father, Appellant.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Lee M. Grossman, State's Attorney, Valley City, N.D., for petitioner and appellee; submitted on brief.

Mark T. Blumer, Fargo, N.D., for appellant; submitted on brief.

KAPSNER, Justice.

[¶ 1] W.R., the father, appeals from a juvenile court order terminating his parental rights to the child, G.R. W.R. argues the juvenile court erred in finding the causes and conditions of the deprivation were likely to continue and finding the termination of his parental rights was necessary to avoid serious physical, mental, or emotional harm to the child. We affirm.

I

[¶ 2] The child was born on April 2, 2008. The child's parents lived in Illinois at the time of her birth, but the child and her mother later moved to North Dakota. On March 31, 2012, the child was removed from the mother's home and LaMoure County Social Services placed her in foster care. On September 6, 2012, social services placed the child with W.R. in Illinois for a home study, but the placement was terminated on November 29, 2012.

[¶ 3] On May 20, 2013, the State petitioned to terminate W.R.'s parental rights. A termination hearing was held on September 19, 2013. The State offered testimony from a number of witnesses, including

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a social worker from LaMoure County Social Services, the child's counselor, the child's foster parent, and the guardian ad litem. W.R. also testified.

[¶ 4] On October 15, 2013, the juvenile court granted the petition and terminated W.R.'s parental rights. The court found the child was deprived and the deprivation was likely to continue, because W.R. has shown an inability to provide stable housing and care for the child and himself, he has a lengthy criminal history with multiple periods of incarceration, he has consistently shown a disregard for rules, and his inability to provide a stable home and care for the child is likely to continue. The court also found reasonable efforts were made to prevent the removal of the child from the home, it was contrary to the child's welfare to return to W.R.'s home, and termination was in the child's best interests.

II

[¶ 5] Section 27-20-44(1), N.D.C.C., authorizes a juvenile court to terminate a person's parental rights if " [t]he child is a deprived child and the court finds ... [t]he conditions and causes of the deprivation are likely to continue or will not be remedied and that by reason thereof the child is suffering or will probably suffer serious physical, mental, moral, or emotional harm[.]" The petitioner must establish all of the elements for termination by clear and convincing evidence. In re A.L.,2011 ND 189, ¶ 8, 803 N.W.2d 597. Clear and ...


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