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Suspension of parental visits did not render T.P.R. proceeding unfair

State v. F.J.R., 2017AP558 & 559, 6/13/17, District 1 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

F.J.R. appeals the termination of her parental rights to her two children. She argues that the court’s pretrial suspension of visitation with one of the children prejudiced her in various ways. The court of appeals disagrees.

The county authority had sought the suspension because the child displayed disruptive and violent behavior before and after the visits. During the grounds phase, the court instructed the jury that such a suspension can be ordered by the court and that the jury shouldn’t consider it except in deciding whether the county had properly provided the CHIPS services ordered.

F.J.R.’s arguments are a bit difficult to understand from the opinion and the briefs are confidential, but in general she seems to contend that the suspension in visitation either prevented her from meeting the conditions of return and that the court’s instruction to the jury let the county off the hook for failing to provide services. The court of appeals agrees with neither, finding that the suspension was proper, that F.J.R. failed to meet other conditions of return, and that the jury instruction was “reasoned and reasonable.” (¶¶15-20).

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