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TPR – “Bonding Expert”; Dispositional Phase Adjournment

State v. Henry W., 2011AP693, District 1, 6/7/11

court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Henry W.: Jane S. Earle; case activity

Testimony of a “bonding expert” as to how the child’s view of her father would make it difficult for him to meet conditions of return, was relevant and admissible in the grounds phase, ¶¶5-7, 10.

Trial court’s refusal to grant adjournment of dispositional phase so that father could secure his own bonding expert, upheld as proper exercise of discretion, ¶¶11-12. (Court notes that, although the statutes command that, absent agreement to the contrary, the dispositional hearing to be held “immediately” after the grounds phase, adjournment might be compelled where necessary for an adequate contest on disposition. However, in this instance, the father has failed to indicate what the expert would have testified to, and therefore can’t show necessity for the adjournment.)

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