In re Interest of Danaisha W. et. al

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In re Interest of Danaisha W. et. al

Caselaw No.
287 Neb. 27
Filed on
Friday, December 13, 2013

SUMMARY: An order setting conditions for supervised visitation was not a final, appealable order because it would have only affected the proceedings for one month until the hearing on the TPR motion.

Dennisca is the mother of six children who were removed from her care in March 2011 due to domestic violence, positive drug tests at birth and failure to supervise. The children were placed with the maternal grandmother. Dennisca went to live with them and got custody of the children in January 2012, but the children were removed again after it was discovered the Dennisca was taking the kids to live with other family members. In a dispositional order on November 1, 2012, the court temporarily suspended parenting time. On December 6, 2012, the State filed a motion to terminate Dennisca’s parental rights. On December 18, 2012, there was a hearing on the motion to reinstate Dennisca’s parenting time, which the court overruled after receiving evidence. After an adjudication hearing on the TPR motion on January 29, 2013, where the mother entered a denial, the court entered an order on February 11, 2013, which included an order ending the temporary suspension on parenting time. It imposed specific conditions which included that Dennisca was to visit with each child separately, that she had to meet with any therapist supervising the visits ahead of time and that if she could not abide by the ground rules visitation would remain suspended until further hearing. On March 5, 2013, Dennisca filed a motion to compel asking for immediate visitation. On March 8, Dennisca appealed the February 11th order.

The Nebraska Supreme Court dismissed the appeal. It rejected the State’s argument that it was merely a continuation of the November 1st order suspending visitation, as that order had specifically suspended visits. However, it did find that the order was not appealable because it was temporary in nature. On the same date the court entered that order, it set the hearing on the TPR motion for March 21st. The Supreme Court cited In re Guardianship of Sophia M., 271 Neb. 133, 710 N.W.2d 312 (2006), which found that an order denying the mother visits pending a final hearing on a guardianship petition did not affect her substantial rights because the hearing was scheduled for three weeks later and therefore “the length of time that [the mother’s] relationship with [the child] was to be disturbed was brief, and the order was not a permanent disposition.” Id. at 139, 710 N.W.2d at 317. In this case, because the order was temporary until the next hearing which was to be held one month later, it was not a final, appealable order.