In re Interest of J.B. and A.P.

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In re Interest of J.B. and A.P.

Caselaw No.
89-794; 235 Neb. 74; 453 N.W.2d 477
Filed on
Friday, April 6, 1990

Summary: Termination of parental rights was proper where the mother failed to protect her children from her abusive partner, failed to obtain prompt medical treatment for injuries and illnesses, and failed to remove her children from a hostile environment. 

G.P. resided in a home with her male partner T.P., his 4-year-old daughter C.P., and her two sons J.B. (4 years) and C.B. (18 months) and their child, A.P. (3 weeks). In May 1988, the couple brought C.B. to the emergency room unconscious. He was found to be in a life threatening condition, with bleeding under his skull, bruising, and fractures in various stages of healing. He died 2 weeks later. Upon further investigation, the police found the other children in the home, surrounded by discarded food, feces, and smelling of urine. The home was found to be unwholesome and unsafe. The children were taken to the hospital for examinations. J.B. was found to have several bruises and fractures in various stages of healing, including a fracture in his tibia. C.P. told the investigators that he father, T.P., beat her. G.P. admitted that she had seen T.P. beat C.P. with a belt when she peed her pants. A physical examine on May 23, 1988 revealed that A.P. had an ear infection in both ears, congestion in the nose and throat, and thrush. G.P.’s parental rights to J.B. were terminated and G.P and T.P.’s parental rights to A.P. were terminated on June 21, 1989. The court concluded that G.P substantially and continuously or repeatedly neglected J.B. and A.P. and refused to give the children necessary parental care. 

The Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed. G.P. appealed the termination, arguing the court failed to find sufficient evidence to support termination. The Court found it was clear that G.P. never took meaningful steps to protect her children from T.P’s abuse. Additionally, she told the police she could make the abuse stop by leaving with them. G.P’s neglect to obtain prompt medical treatment any of the children in her home, failure to protect C.B. and J.B. from T.P.’s abuse, and failure to remove A.P. from a hostile environment led the Court to conclude that termination was in the best interest of the children.