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In the Matter of: D.S.B. and D.S.B.

April 30, 2013

IN THE MATTER OF: D.S.B. AND D.S.B., YOUTHS IN NEED OF CARE.


APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, In and For the County of Missoula, Cause Nos. DN 10-6 and DN 10-7 Honorable John W. Larson, Presiding Judge

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mike McGRATH

April 30 2013

Submitted on Briefs: February 27, 2013

Filed:

Clerk

Chief Justice Mike McGrath delivered the Opinion of the Court.

¶1 Birth father J.H. appeals from an order issued by the Fourth Judicial District Court, Missoula County, that terminated his parental rights to his two children, D.S.B. 1 and D.S.B. 2 (the children). We affirm.

¶2 We address the following issues on appeal:

¶3 Issue One: Whether the District Court properly concluded that J.H.'s treatment plans were appropriate.

¶4 Issue Two: Whether the State presented sufficient evidence to terminate J.H.'s parental rights under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

¶5 Through the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), the State petitioned for Emergency Protective Services, Adjudication as Youths in Need of Care, and Temporary Legal Custody for the children on February 24, 2010. The State's petition alleged that J.H. had sexually abused the children, medically neglected the children, physically neglected the children, and exposed the children to unreasonable risks. J.H. stipulated on June 11, 2010, that the children should be adjudicated as Youths in Need of Care. At a hearing on July 7, 2010, the District Court held that the children are Indian Children, and the ICWA applies.

¶6 The DPHHS prepared Phase I and Phase II treatment plans for J.H. The District Court approved the treatment plans on January 28, 2011. The treatment plans included a variety of tasks that J.H. had to complete that were intended to address the issues that led to the children being removed from the parents' care. When the court approved the treatment plans, J.H. was in the Department of Correction's custody for failing to register as a violent offender.

ΒΆ7 The State petitioned for permanent legal custody and termination of J.H.'s parental rights on February 7, 2012. The District Court held hearings on February 24, 2012, May 2, 2012, May 29, 2012, and May 31, 2012. At the hearings, the court heard testimony from an ICWA expert, the State's Child Protection Specialist (CPS), the children's therapist, and J.H. The District ...


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