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In re Doe

June 30, 2010

IN THE INTEREST OF: JOHN DOE, A MINOR CHILD UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE.
IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & WELFARE, PETITIONER-RESPONDENT,
v.
JOHN DOE I, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT AND JANE DOE, RESPONDENT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Cathleen MacGregor-Irby, Magistrate Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Burdick, Justice

2010 Opinion No. 76

Magistrate court decision terminating parental rights, affirmed.

SUBMITTED ON THE BRIEFS

John Doe I (hereinafter Doe) appeals from the magistrate court's Memorandum Decision and Order terminating his parental rights to his child, D.C., entered September 21, 2009.*fn1 We affirm.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

D.C. was born in 1999. On April 4, 2000, a child protection referral was made in Moscow, Idaho, regarding the care of D.C. According to the reporting party, Doe and D.C.'s mother (Mother) had taken D.C. to a babysitter's house and did not follow through with plans to pick up D.C., leaving the babysitter with no supplies, such as milk, with which to care for D.C. The report was coded as an information and referral only, and no further action was taken.

On April 3, 2003, a child protection referral was made in St. Maries, Idaho, regarding health and safety concerns with the family's residence. Concerns of controlled substance abuse by Doe were also reported. A social worker visited the home and observed that there was no running water and the sewer system was not functioning.

On April 26, 2004, another child protection referral was made regarding the neglect of D.C. According to the referent, Doe and his girlfriend (S.R.) left D.C. and S.R.'s children with an aunt and uncle for several weeks and did not return to pick them up until forced to do so. The referent also noted substantial controlled substance abuse by Doe and S.R. Subsequent reports alleging child abuse and neglect were reported and attached to this initial presenting issue, including concerns about domestic violence by Doe against S.R., inappropriate physical discipline by Doe of S.R.'s children, and severe neglect of the children. These reports were also coded as information and referral only.

On March 22, 2007, D.C. was placed in foster care after Doe was arrested on a warrant for drug related charges. At that point in time, Mother had not had contact with D.C. for several years. The Department of Health and Welfare (Department) worked with Doe and assisted him with services to address drug and alcohol issues, parenting skills, anger management, employment, housing, and other identified needs. D.C. was reunited with Doe in October 2007.

On November 10, 2007, a child protection referral was made in Boise, Idaho, indicating that Doe had a felony warrant out for his arrest and the reporting party was concerned about what Doe would do with D.C. should he be arrested. The referral was coded as an information and referral only.

On April 18, 2008, Doe was incarcerated for violation of a no-contact order issued between him and S.R. D.C. was declared in imminent danger at that time due to Doe's incarceration. Before D.C. was returned to Doe, Doe was again arrested on May 3, 2008, in Cascade, Idaho, for driving under the influence, domestic violence, reckless driving, eluding law enforcement, and fleeing the scene of an accident. In its Report of Investigation filed May 8, 2008, the Department requested that the Department be granted legal custody of D.C., and recommended that the following case plan be completed by Doe:

1. [Doe] will successfully complete the fifty-two weeks of domestic violence treatment through Tom Wilson Counseling, as ordered by his probation requirements.

2. [Doe] will participate in a mental health or psychological evaluation to determine any undiagnosed mental illness and determine the effect of any diagnosed mental health issues on his capacity to parent. All recommendations are to be followed and demonstrated.

3. [Doe] will participate in a substance abuse assessment/evaluation approved by the assigned Department social worker and will follow any and all recommendations, including random drug tests at the discretion of the assigned Department social worker. The drug tests will be free of alcohol, illegal substances, and controlled substances not prescribed by a licensed physician. Legal controlled substances will not exceed prescribed levels.

4. [Doe] will obtain/maintain a stable, safe and healthy home environment for himself and his child. [Doe] will keep the home free of any health and safety hazards. No other persons may reside in the home without the prior approval of the Department social worker. He will allow the assigned Department social worker and the Guardian Ad Litem to conduct random home visits.

5. [Doe] will obtain and maintain appropriate employment/income to provide for himself and his child. [Doe] will provide the assigned Department social worker with the necessary documentation to verify his income and legitimate employment.

6. [Doe] will address and resolve any pending legal issues, comply with the terms of his probation, and refrain from further illegal activity which may result in his arrest/incarceration.

On June 19, 2008, the magistrate court issued its Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order of Legal Custody and Order Approving Case Plan as to the Father, approving the case plan suggested by the Department on June 3, 2008. The steps outlined in the case plan were ...


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