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Challenges to summary judgment ruling, dispositional order fail in TPR appeal

Brown County Health and Human Services v. R.U., 2024AP45-6 4/16/24, District IV (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

In yet another fact-dependent TPR appeal, COA affirms given well-settled (and difficult to overcome) legal standards.

Summary Judgment 

“Ralph” appeals the circuit court’s order granting summary judgment as to grounds with respect to § 48.415(4) (continuing denial of placement or visitation). (¶14). Ralph’s appeal is straightforward, however, as “Ralph does not dispute that he has been denied visitation by court orders, that more than one year elapsed since the orders denying visitation were issued, or that the orders contained the [statutorily required warnings].” (¶15). Ralph’s only apparent argument is premised on attacking the validity of the underlying CHIPS orders–an issue not raised below and wholly undeveloped in this forum. (¶¶15-16).

Dispositional Order

Next, Ralph argues that the record does not support the circuit court’s dispositional order. (¶21). His only argument is that “the court did not give sufficient weight to the efforts that he made to obtain the return of his children and to the love that he has for Neil and Peggy–two factors that the court is not statutorily required to consider.” (¶22). Under the well-settled and extremely deferential standard of review–and given the circuit court’s consideration of each statutorily required factor–COA affirms. (¶23).

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