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Challenges to TPR rejected

State v. T.T., 2021AP739, 2021AP740, 2021AP741 & 2021AP742, District 1, 7/23/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

T.T. unsuccessfully challenges the findings at the grounds phase and the dispositional order terminating his parental rights to his four children.

At the grounds phase, the circuit court found that the state had proved both continuing CHIPS and failure to assume parental responsibility. The court of appeals affirms this conclusion, rejecting T.T.’s challenges in a fact-intensive discussion of the evidence presented at the grounds hearing and applying the deferential standard of review governing the lower court’s fact-finding and assessment of credibility. (¶¶10-20).

As to the dispositional hearing, T.T. argues the court erroneously exercised its discretion in weighing the factors under § 48.426(3). In particular, T.T. says the circuit court put undue emphasis on his incarceration to find T.T. hadn’t developed a substantial relationship with his children when, in fact, he had developed a substantial relationship with them before being incarcerated. But the circuit court rejected T.T.’s claim he developed a substantial relationship before his incarceration, so it didn’t improperly emphasize his incarceration. (¶¶21-24). The record also shows the circuit court properly considered the other relevant factors. (¶¶25-27).

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