Wisconsin Court of Appeals
Juveniles – TPR — abandonment
Lee H., the father of Isaiah H., appeals a circuit court order terminating his parental rights to Isaiah H. based on abandonment. Lee H. argues that reversal is warranted because the circuit court erred in directing a verdict on two special verdict questions during the grounds phase of the termination of parental rights (TPR) proceedings. The special verdict questions refer, respectively, to the following two elements of abandonment: (1) whether there was a court order placing Isaiah H. outside the home that contained the required TPR notice to parents, and (2) whether Lee H. failed to visit or communicate with Isaiah H. for a period of three months or longer.
Lee H. argues that the circuit court erred in directing a verdict on Question 1 because (1) the court incorrectly believed that he stipulated to a directed verdict on Question 1, and (2) absent a stipulation, this element could not be proven because the record is devoid of specific evidence that he actually received the order that contained the required notice. Lee H. argues that the circuit court erred in directing a verdict on Question 2 because, he asserts, a State Department of Corrections (DOC) rule of supervision prohibited him from having contact with Isaiah H. For the following reasons, this court rejects Lee H.’s arguments and affirms. This opinion will not be published.
Dist IV, Dane County, Smith, J., Blanchard, J.
Attorneys: For Appellant: Schmieder, Theresa J., Green Bay; For Respondent: Rehfeldt, Gary, Madison