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Termination of Parental Rights

WI Court of Appeals – District III

Case Name: Brown County Department of Human Services v. K.Y.T.

Case No.: 2022AP531

Officials: GILL, J.

Focus: Termination of Parental Rights

Kane appeals an order terminating his parental rights (TPR) to his daughter.  Kane contends that the Brown County Department of Human Services (“Department”) failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that there was any ground to find Kane an unfit parent. Kane also claims the circuit court erroneously exercised its discretion by deciding that the termination of his parental rights was in Daughter’s best interest.

In particular, Kane argues that there was insufficient evidence for the jury to find, under either of the statutory abandonment grounds, that Kane had abandoned daughter, because he did attempt to have contact with her and he was moved around between various jails and prisons, which hampered his ability to regularly communicate. Regarding the jury’s conclusion that there were grounds to find that Kane failed to assume parental responsibility, Kane argues that the evidence was insufficient because: (1) he expressed concerns regarding Daughter to his case worker; and (2) he attended parenting classes in an attempt to better care for his child. Finally, Kane summarily claims that the circuit court erroneously exercised its discretion when weighing the appropriate factors in No. 2022AP531 determining whether it was in Daughter’s best interest to terminate Kane’s parental rights.

We conclude that the Department presented sufficient credible evidence at trial to support the jury’s verdict finding grounds to terminate Kane’s parental rights. We further conclude that the circuit court did not erroneously exercise its discretion by concluding that terminating Kane’s parental rights was in Daughter’s best interest. Consequently, we affirm the TPR order

Affirmed

Decided 09/29/22

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