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TPR – Evidence; Hearsay; Effective assistance

Dane Co. DHS v. Laura E.N., No. 2010AP1172, District 4, 7/29/10

court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Laura E.N.: Jean K. Capriotti

TPR – Evidence

Evidence that the mother was caring for an infant son not under CHIPS order wasn’t relevant to her ability to meet conditions for the return of her older daughters who were the subjects of the TPR proceeding, ¶¶13-16.

TPR – Hearsay

Social workers’ testimony based on reports of the children acting out sexually was admissible because sufficiently corroborated by other evidence to be trustworthy, and in any event was admissible under § 907.03 as data on which experts may rely, ¶¶21-27; was relevant to show that the mother wasn’t adequately caring for the children, ¶¶28-29; and even if erroneously admitted, was harmless, ¶¶30-32.

TPR – Effective Assistance

Counsel didn’t perform deficiently in failing to secure a more recent psychological evaluation for the mother and each child, the court stressing the absence of any “evidentiary basis for finding that a reasonable attorney should have known that second psychological evaluations would have had any better results for either Laura or her children,” ¶¶37-38.

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