In re Interest of Quintel C. et. al

Caselaw Number
Filed On

SUMMARY: Termination of parental rights was in the children’s best interests where the children had been in foster care for over three years, there was evidence of inappropriate physical discipline, and the parents could not control all four children during visitation. 

The State filed a petition on September 30, 2009 as to Quintel (DOB 2/2004), Aision (DOB 1/2007), Dailon (DOB 12/2007), and Chariyona (DOB 7/2009), alleging they were placed at risk of harm due to the fault and habits of their mother, Latoria, following a history of involvement with the Department. Latoria had voluntarily placed Quintel in foster care in April 2009, and the other children were later removed. The children were adjudicated on November 24, 2009 after Latoria admitted that she had failed to provide them with appropriate care, support, or supervision. The State filed a supplemental petition on January 7, 2011 alleging Aison, Dailon and Chariyona were at risk of harm due to the faults or habits of their father, Charles; the children were adjudicated on this petition on June 28, 2011. Initially, visitations were set to transition to unsupervised, but the State filed an ex parte motion for supervised visitation on August 22, 2012 following a substantiated report that Charles had struck Quintel during a visit. The State filed motions for termination of Charles and Latoria’s parental rights on October 9, 2012. At the termination hearing held in February and April 2013, there was evidence that the children suffered from significant behavioral issues that were exacerbated by visitation with their parents. Two visitation specialists were required during visits because Charles and Latoria could not control all four children and because Charles and Latoria argued in front of the children. There were also concerns that Charles used inappropriate discipline during visitations, but Charles and latoria denied this and placed the blame on the children’s self-harming behaviors. In contrast, there was evidence that Charles and latoria made some progress in parenting techniques and showed affection for the children. Charles and Latoria only attended approximately 75% of scheduled visits, but some of their missed visits were due to transportation issues and Charles’s health issues. The juvenile court terminated Charles and Latoria’s parental rights on June 13, 2013.

The Nebraska Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of parental rights. The terminations were in the children’s best interests because the children had been in foster care for an extended period of time and there were no further services that could be offered to the family. Though it was clear to the Court that the parents cared deeply about their children and had made efforts to improve, no real progress had been made toward reunification and the parents were unable to effectively parent all four children during visits. In addition, the ex parte order issued on August 22, 2012 for supervised visitation was proper. The parents had been given due process at every stage of the proceedings.