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Summary judgment in TPR case affirmed

Sheboygan County DHHS v. A.L.A., Sr., 2022AP267, District 2, 5/18/22 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

The circuit court didn’t err in granting the County’s motion for summary judgment on the grounds alleged in the TPR petition because A.L.A. raised no genuine issues of material fact in response to the motion.

The TPR petition alleged A.L.A. abandoned his daughter by failing to visit or communicate with her between June 1 and October 4, 2019. In response, he alleged he had good cause to fail to visit or communicate during that time period, and thus had a defense under § 48.415(1)(c). (¶5).

But establishing good cause requires A.L.A. to prove three things, and A.L.A.’s proffers didn’t show he had the evidence to do that. In particular, he asserted he’d tried to call his daughter’s foster home while he was in jail during the alleged time period but the foster parents wouldn’t take the calls; however, nothing in the record shows the foster parents were aware of his calls or stymied his attempts at communication. (¶¶7-8). Nor do his claims that he wrote letters to his daughter at the foster parents’ home create an issue of material fact, as his affidavit didn’t specify when those letters were sent and, thus, don’t show an attempt to communicate during the relevant time period. (¶¶9-10).

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