In re Interest of Aaliyah C.

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In re Interest of Aaliyah C.

Caselaw No.
Filed on
Thursday, April 17, 2014

SUMMARY: Termination of a father’s parental rights was supported by evidence that the father had not had any physical contact with the child for several years, had never financially supported the child, and was not in a situation to parent due to his incarceration. 

On November 9, 2010, the State filed a petition alleging Aaliyah was at risk of harm due to the faults and habits of her mother, Channell. Channell was 17 years old at the time and had left her parent’s home. Aaliyah was adjudicated on March 21, 2011. On October 30, 2012, the State filed a supplemental petition alleging Aaliyah was at risk of harm due to the faults or habits of her father, Dadreon, and a motion to terminate Dadreon’s parental rights. At a hearing held June 24, 2013, there was evidence that Dadreon had been contacted as early as June 2011 informing him that Aaliyah was removed from Channell’s care and instructing him on the process of intervening in the action. Dadreon expressed concern over participating in paternity tests because he did not want to pay child support. Dadreon attended one team meeting but did not intervene in the case or attend any juvenile court hearings. He never had supervised visitation with Aaliyah and never sent her any gifts or financial support. There was also evidence that Aaliyah required extra supervision because she had behavioral problems and needed physical and occupational therapy. Dadreon had a history of criminal convictions, including one for domestic assault against Channell. Dadreon testified that he had cared for Aaliyah several times when she was very young and attempted to visit with her after her removal from Channell’s care. Dadreon also testified that he had completed an affidavit to intervene in the case and never intended to abandon Aaliyah. Dadreon stated that if he had known where Aaliyah was staying he would have sent her cards and gifts and that he would be able to parent Aaliyah once he was released from jail. The juvenile court terminated Dadreon’s parental rights as to Aaliyah on October 17, 2013.

The Nebraska Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of parental rights. The Court of Appeals noted that the evidence was unchallenged that Aaliyah had remained in out-of-home placement continuously since November 2010. In addition, termination was in Aaliyah’s best interests because Dadreon had not had any physical contact with Aaliyah since she was a very young child and had never provided care, protection or maintenance for her. The record included evidence of abandonment and that Dadreon had neglected and refused to give Aaliyah necessary parental care and protection.