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In the Matter of:

October 22, 2012

IN THE MATTER OF: D.B., A YOUTH IN NEED OF CARE.


APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Twenty-First Judicial District, In and For the County of Ravalli, Cause No. DN 2010-02 Honorable James A. Haynes, Presiding Judge

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Brian Morris

Submitted on Briefs: July 25, 2012

Decided: October 22, 2012

Filed:

Clerk

Justice Brian Morris delivered the Opinion of the Court.

¶1 J.B. (Father) appeals an order of the Twenty-First Judicial District Court, Ravalli County, that terminated his parental rights. We affirm.

¶2 Father raises the following issues:

¶3 Did the District Court abuse its discretion in determining that the Department proposed an appropriate treatment plan?

¶4 Did the District Court abuse its discretion in determining that Father would be unlikely to change within a reasonable amount of time?

¶5 Did Father receive ineffective assistance of counsel?

¶6 Father and M.S. (Mother) are the biological parents of D.B. Mother had D.B. in 2000. Mother primarily raised D.B. Father had lived with D.B. for a few months when D.B. was less six months old. Father has had few visits with D.B. since that time with the exception of weekend visitations during 2008 and 2009. This visitation ended when Father moved to Mississippi in 2009. Father's departure left D.B. entirely in the physical custody of Mother.

¶7 Authorities removed D.B. from Mother's custody in 2010 after Mother was arrested for partner or family member assault. D.B. and his stepbrother had been subject to numerous domestic violence incidents before Mother's 2010 arrest. The District Court accordingly granted the Department of Public Health and Human Services (Department) emergency protective custody. Father stipulated at the show-cause hearing to D.B.'s status as a youth in need of care. He further stipulated that Department should have temporary legal custody.

ΒΆ8 The Department developed a treatment plan for Father. The treatment plan set out numerous reasons for D.B.'s abuse and neglect. The treatment plan detailed Father's criminal history. The history included the fact that Father had violated his probation in 2009 by driving under the influence and leading officers on a high-speed chase. The treatment plan also noted Father's history of drug and alcohol abuse. The plan further identified Father's history of domestic violence. Police had been called to Father's residence on numerous occasions. Father ran up three assault charges between 2001 and 2004. The treatment plan also noted that Father possessed a "self-admitted ...


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