Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Doe

Supreme Court of Idaho

March 8, 2018

In the Matter of: JANE DOE II, A Child Under Eighteen (18) Years of Age.
v.
JOHN DOE (2017-31), Respondent-Appellant. JANE DOE I, Petitioner-Respondent,

         2018 Opinion No. 23

         Appeal from the District Court of the Seventh Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Bonneville County, Hon. Stephen James Clark, Magistrate Judge.

         The judgment of the magistrate court is affirmed.

          Wixom Law Offices, Idaho Falls, for Appellant.

          Murray, Ziel & Johnston, PLLC, Idaho Falls, for Respondent.

          TROUT, Justice Pro Tem.

         John Doe (Father) appeals a decision of the magistrate court in Bonneville County to terminate Father's parental rights to his minor child Jane Doe II (Child). The magistrate court terminated Father's parental rights on a petition from Child's Stepfather and Mother, Jane Doe I (Mother), after finding that Father had abandoned Child and termination was in Child's best interest. On appeal, Father argues that the magistrate court's findings are not supported by substantial and competent evidence. Mother responds that the magistrate court's findings are supported by substantial and competent evidence and requests attorney fees on appeal. We affirm the decision of the magistrate court.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         The following facts were found by the magistrate judge and are supported by evidence in the record. Father and Mother were married on June 20, 2012, and Child was born to Father and Mother on August 9, 2012. Based on Father being charged with domestic battery against Mother, a No Contact Order was entered by the magistrate court on January 30, 2013, which provided that Father was to have no contact with mother or her immediate family (except as to children who are subject to a separate custody/visitation order) and that Order was extended until February 6, 2015. Father and Mother subsequently divorced on January 23, 2014, and a decree of divorce was entered incorporating a parenting plan and property settlement agreement between the parties. In the parenting plan, Father was provided eight hours of supervised visitation each month on the weekends, together with holidays and other specified times. In addition, Father was entitled to telephone or Skype with the child once per week and send letters. After entry of the divorce decree, the record reflects that Father would visit with Child approximately twice each month but these visits decreased in regularity until Father was incarcerated in May 2015.

         As a part of the parenting plan, Father was obligated to pay child support of $125 per month beginning January 2014. The only recorded payments occurred over a three-month period ending in July 2014, and were as a result of garnished wages. Father asserted there were some additional cash payments of unknown amounts with money gained from illegal drug activities.

         Father is currently in prison, serving a sentence of three years determinate followed by twelve years indeterminate, for two counts of rape based upon sexual relations with underage females. Since Father has been incarcerated, Father has had no contact with Child and has not sent or had delivered any letters to Child. The magistrate court recognized that, given Child's age, it was understandable Father did not send letters, as she could not read them. There were also no packages or presents sent to Child, although again, the magistrate court recognized that Father's prison sentence would have made attempts to do so impractical. However, the magistrate court also found that Father was aware his sister had ongoing contact with Mother and was willing to deliver letters and packages to Child if asked. While Mother had declined collect calls from Father, Mother did answer the only pre-paid call made by Father. During this brief call, Child was not a topic of conversation. Mother married Stepfather on May 4, 2016. Stepfather has stepped into the role of Child's father since Mother and Stepfather's marriage.

         Mother and Stepfather petitioned the magistrate court to terminate Father's parental rights on November 23, 2016. While Father initially indicated he would consent to termination and adoption by Stepfather, Father filed an answer contesting the termination of his rights to Child.

         A court trial was held on August 31, 2017, to determine whether grounds for termination existed under Idaho Code section 16-2005. The magistrate judge made findings of fact and conclusions of law terminating Father's parental rights based upon a determination that Father had abandoned Child and termination was in Child's best interest. Father timely appealed.

         II. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.