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Evidence found sufficient to support termination of parental rights

State v. Faizel K., 2014AP2035 & 2014AP2036, District 1, 12/2/14 (1-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity: 2014AP2035; 2014AP2036

In this fact-intensive decision, the court of appeals holds there was sufficient evidence to support the orders terminating Faizel’s parental rights to his sons Mohammed K. and Robeul K.

The TPR petitions alleged three grounds for termination: continuing CHIPS, § 48.415(2); failure to assume parental responsibility, § 48.415(6); and, as to Robeul only, abandonment, § 48.415(1)(a)2. (¶17). Though the court need find sufficiency on one ground only, Steven V. v. Kelley H., 2004 WI 47, 24, 271 Wis. 2d 1, 678 N.W.2d 856, here it holds the evidence was sufficient for all the grounds. (¶21). Specifically:

  • As to abandonment of Robeul, the testimony of Faizel himself as well as other witnesses showed Faizel failed to visit or communicate in any way with Robeul, who was placed outside his parents’ home for a period of three months or longer, or Robeul’s foster parents. (¶¶7, 14, 16, 24).
  • On the failure to assume parental responsibility ground, Robeul never lived with Faizel and there was sufficient evidence to show Faizel abandoned Robeul, evincing a lack of a “substantial parental relationship.” Faizel also insisted Robeul “was just fine” despite his numerous serious health problems and could not be instructed to give Robeul the treatment he needed. Regarding Mohammed, Faizel subjected Mohammed to a hazardous living environment by physically abusing him and failed to understand how to care for Mohammed’s special needs. (¶¶3, 10, 13, 28).
  • Finally, as to the continuing CHIPS ground, the evidence shows the Bureau for Child Welfare made reasonable efforts to provide court-ordered services to Faizel. (¶¶30-32).
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