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Florence County Dept. of Human Services v. Jennifer B., 2011AP384, District 3/1, 9/29/11

court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Jennifer B.: Martha K. Askins, SPD, Madison Appellate; case activity

Because the record doesn’t clearly establish whether Jennifer B. voluntarily terminated her rights, entered a no-contest plea, or made an admission to the allegations in the petition, a new TPR hearing is required. The trial court didn’t sufficiently inquire into matters required of a voluntary consent to terminate, ¶¶11-14.  Nor does the record establish the requisites for a no-contest plea or admission, such as a factual basis, understanding of rights waived or consequence of the plea or admission, ¶¶15-17.

¶18      If Jennifer B. meant to consent to termination, the elements required by Wis. Stat. § 48.41 have not been established.  If Jennifer B. meant to plead no contest or admit to the allegations in the petition, the elements required by Wis. Stat. §48.422(3) & (7) have also not been met.  Therefore, we must reverse and remand for a new hearing.

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