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Juveniles – TPR — abandonment

Wisconsin Court of Appeals


Juveniles – TPR — abandonment

Donald M. H. appeals from the termination of his parental rights on the grounds of abandonment and failure to assume parental responsibility. See Wis. Stat. § 48.415(1), (6). First, Donald claims the trial court erred when it did not submit jury instructions and two separate verdicts related to two separate alleged periods of abandonment. Second, Donald claims he was denied effective assistance of counsel when his trial counsel failed to request separate jury instructions and separate verdicts for each claim of abandonment, and when counsel failed to elicit testimony or introduce other evidence regarding specific activities Donald claims he did with his son, such as going fishing, to the zoo, and on nature hikes, which Donald believes would have shown he had a substantial parental relationship with his son. Donald has waived his right to object to the jury instructions and verdict on abandonment and has not shown that his trial counsel’s performance was ineffective. We affirm. Following a brief procedural history, we first address the jury instructions and verdict on abandonment; we then turn to the ineffective assistance of counsel claims. This opinion will not be published.

2010AP467 In re the termination of parental rights to Collin M.L.

Dist II, Kenosha County, Milasauskas, J., Gundrum, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Voss, Thomas K., Waukesha; For Respondent: Fry, M. Susanna, Kenosha

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