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Notice requirements were satisfied by CHIPS extension order that incorporated by reference terms of original order

State v. Amelia A., 2015AP630 & 2015AP631, District 1, 6/9/15 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

While the order extending the placement of Amelia’s children outside of her home did not specifically recite the conditions she needed to meet for the return of her children, the extension order specifically incorporated by reference the original CHIPS order, which did recite the conditions Amelia had to meet for return of the children and warned that failing to meet the conditions could result in termination of her parental rights. Thus, Amelia received the notice required under §§ 48.356(2) and 48.415(2)(a)1. and Waukesha County v. Steven H., 2000 WI 28, 233 Wis. 2d 344, 607 N.W.2d 607.

Steven H. resolved a conflict between the notice requirements in §§ 48.356(2) and 48.415(2)(a)1. by holding that the last order placing the child outside the home “must be issued at least six months before the filing of the petition to terminate parental rights” and must contain the notice required by § 48.356(2). 233 Wis. 2d 344, ¶3. Amelia argues the notice requirements weren’t met in her case because the last order in this case was an August 2013 extension order that did not itself specify the conditions for return or warn about termination, but the court of appeals disagrees:

¶12    Here, Amelia contends that the August 2013 extension order did not comply with Steven H. because, as the last order issued before the November 2013 termination of parental rights petitions were filed, it was required to notify her of the conditions she needed to meet for the return of her children. She disregards the “at least six months” language of the holding. See id., ¶3. We do not regard that language as mere surplusage. Because the last order “issued at least six months before the filing of the petition to terminate parental rights” was the [original] August 2012 order, we conclude Amelia received proper notice under Steven H. And because she received explicit written notice of the conditions for return in the August 2012 order placing the children outside the home, which was then expressly incorporated by reference into the August 2013 extension order, the notice complied with Wis. Stat. §§ 48.356(2) and 48.415(2)(a)1.

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