In re Interest of LaCrysta N., TiWanna N., DaQuawn N. & DaQuanda N.

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In re Interest of LaCrysta N., TiWanna N., DaQuawn N. & DaQuanda N.

Caselaw No.
Filed on
Friday, December 27, 2013

SUMMARY: Termination of a mother’s parental rights was proper when there was evidence that the mother had various services provided to her but never progressed in visitations, was not consistent in addressing mental health issues, and displayed abusive behavior to service providers. 

On August 20, 2010, police were called to a private residence where they found Ella pinning her daughter LaCrysta (DOB 1/6/1994) to the ground and slapping her. Ella’s four children, LaCrysta, TiWanna (DOB 7/13/1997), DaQuawn (DOB 8/20/2004) and DaQuawnda (DOB 8/20/2004) were removed from Ella’s home and have never returned to her care. The children were adjudicated in November 2010 and the state filed a motion to terminate parental rights in September 2012. By the time of the termination hearing on March 22, 2013, LaCrysta was 19 years old and no longer under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. At the termination hearing, the State introduced evidence that showed Ella was not participating in ordered services. Ella did complete all ordered evaluations, but was not consistently participating in therapy for her bipolar disorder. In addition, there was testimony that Ella had repeatedly threatened and acted abusive toward service providers, including her therapist and a family partner. Several service providers discharged Ella from their service because of her hostile behaviors; Ella would also frequently cancel services herself. Ella only attended three therapeutic visitations with TiWanna and inconsistently attended visitations with DaQuawn and DaQuawnda. At the visits, Ella would not consistently engage with the children and would often end the visits before the scheduled time. Visitations were suspended in February 2013 due to Ella’s abusive behavior toward service providers. There was also testimony that the children did have emotional and behavioral problems but were improving in their current placement. The juvenile court terminated Ella’s parental rights on March 26, 2013.

The Nebraska Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of parental rights. The children had been in an out-of-home placement for at least fifteen of the previous twenty-two months, and Ella had not addressed the issues that led to their removal from her care. Ella had many services provided to her, but never progressed in visits and was inconsistent in the visitation she did have. In addition, Ella did not address her mental health issues and continued to display abusive behavior to providers. Thus, Ella was not a fit parent and termination was in the children’s best interests.