as: 671 N.W.2d 533)
Court's decision is referenced in a "Decisions Without Published Opinions"
table in the North Western Reporter. See FI IA R
6.14(5) for rules regarding the use and citation of unpublished
Court of Appeals of Iowa.
the Interest of R.C., Minor Child,
Michael Lindeman of Lindeman Law Firm, Cedar Rapids, for appellant.
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Tabitha Gardner, Assistant Attorney General,
Harold Denton, County Attorney, and Kelly Kaufman, Assistant County Attorney,
Barbara Liesveld of Thinnes & Liesveld, Cedar Rapids, for mother.
Thomas O'Flaherty of O'Flaherty Law Firm, Swisher, guardian ad litem
for minor child.
Considered by HUITINK, P.J., and VAITHESWARAN and EISENHAUER, JJ.
Background Facts & Proceedings
Warren and Antoinette are the parents of Ruthanna, born in
June 2000. Ruthanna lived with Antoinette, but due to her
history of substance abuse, the juvenile court ordered Ruthanna removed
from her care in June 2001. Instead, Antoinette placed Ruthanna
with Warren, who took her to Alabama. Ruthanna was returned
to Iowa in September 2001. Ruthanna was adjudicated to be
a child in need of assistance (CINA).
Warren has a history of substance abuse. He attended substance
abuse treatment, but subsequently had a drug test which was
positive for marijuana. He has problems with controlling his anger
and has an extensive criminal history, including several convictions for
interference with official acts. During the CINA proceedings he was
arrested for assault causing bodily injury and shoplifting. He has
been involved in abusive relationships, including his relationship with Antoinette.
Warren has had problems establishing stable housing and employment.
In May 2002 the State filed a petition seeking to
terminate the parents' rights. The juvenile court terminated Warren's parental
rights pursuant to Iowa
Code sections 232.116(1)(d), (e), and (h) (Supp.2001).
[FN1] The court found:
The juvenile court used the subsections in effect prior to
the amendment of section 232.116 in April 2001. We will
use the code sections in effect at the time of
the termination proceedings.
situation has not improved to the point that the Court
could find that Ruthanna would be safe and adequately cared
for by him. Warren has no established track record for
stable housing or employment. While he denies current drug usage,
he has not cooperated with the drug tests that would
confirm his denial. He has a pending criminal charge, and
a history of incarceration, which has interfered with his ability
to parent. He continues to show difficulty with managing his
anger, despite participating in anger management counseling.
The court concluded termination of the parents' rights was in
Ruthanna's best interests. Warren appeals.
Standard of Review
The scope of review in termination cases is de novo.
re C.B .,
611 N.W.2d 489, 492 (Iowa 2000). In this case, the
provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) apply. See
In re B.M.,
532 N.W.2d 504, 506 (Iowa Ct.App.1995).
The provisions of the ICWA are to be strictly construed
and applied. In
584 N.W.2d 577, 583 (Iowa Ct.App.1998). Under the ICWA, the
State bears the burden of showing "beyond a reasonable doubt"
that parental rights should be terminated. In
528 N.W.2d 657, 662 (Iowa Ct.App.1995).
On appeal, Warren claims the State did not provide adequate
reunification services. The specifics of his argument, however, deal with
the sufficiency of the evidence in this case. We will
treat his argument as raising a claim of insufficient evidence
to support the termination of his parental rights. To the
extent he is raising a claim of lack of reasonable
efforts, we find the services provided by the State were
reasonable under the facts of this case.
A good prediction of the future conduct of a parent
is to look at the past conduct. In
579 N.W.2d 338, 341 (Iowa Ct.App.1998). The parent's past performance
may indicate the quality of care the parent is capable
of providing in the future. In
558 N.W.2d 170, 172 (Iowa 1997). Furthermore, a court must
reasonably limit the time for parents to be in a
position to assume care of their children, because patience with
parents can soon translate into intolerable hardship for the children.
508 N.W.2d 92, 96 (Iowa Ct.App.1996).
On our de novo review, we find Warren still has
many problems that would prevent
him from providing safe and adequate care for Ruthanna. There
are still concerns about Warren's use of illegal drugs. Warren
still has anger management problems, which have resulted in legal
action against him. Warren has a history of unstable housing
and employment. Based on these factors, we find there is
evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Ruthanna cannot be placed
in Warren's care.
We affirm the decision of the juvenile court.
671 N.W.2d 533 (Table), 2003 WL 22092677 (Iowa App.)