In re Interest of Dayton C.

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In re Interest of Dayton C.

Caselaw No.
A-13-201
Filed on
Tuesday, October 15, 2013


SUMMARY: Termination of the father’s parental rights was proper where he was incarcerated for much of the child’s life, failed to visit or have contact with the child and failed to intervene in the case.

Dayton, DOB 6/07, went under the legal guardianship of his maternal grandmother, Ivy, when he was 2 years old. The guardianship terminated in April 2011, and Dayton returned to his mother but DHHS removed Dayton later the same month. On July 31, 2012, the State filed a petition as to Dayton’s father, John, which included a request to terminate his parental rights. Trial was held on November 26, 2012, and February 15, 2013. Testimony established that John never visited Dayton at Ivy’s house during the week and rarely visited him when he was with John’s mother on the weekends. He didn’t send cards, gifts, letters, or financial support. During the length of Dayton’s life, John continually went in and out of incarceration and was incarcerated at the time of the termination hearing. He did not avail himself of services while in prison and made no attempts to set up visits after being released. After trial, the court terminated John’s parental rights. The father appealed.

The Nebraska Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of parental rights. The Court of Appeals first found that grounds to terminate existed because Dayton had been out of home more than 15 of the past 22 months. As to best interests, the Court of Appeals reviewed the evidence and concluded that John had made minimal effort to be part of Dayton’s life and never provided any financial support or daily necessities for him, and therefore was unable to provide stability for him.