K.D. v. State (In re H.D.)
IN THE UTAH COURT OF APPEALS
State of Utah, in the interest
a person under eighteen years of age.
State of Utah,
(Not For Official Publication)
Case No. 20041108-CA
F I L E D
(March 10, 2005)
2005 UT App 113
Third District Juvenile, Salt Lake Department
The Honorable Sharon P. McCully
Attorneys: Jeffrey J. Noland, Salt Lake City, for Appellant
Mark L. Shurtleff and John M. Peterson, Salt Lake City, for Appellee
Martha Pierce and Suchada Bazzelle, Salt Lake City, Guardians Ad Litem
Before Judges Bench, Davis, and Orme.
K.D. appeals from a final order of the juvenile court terminating her parental rights. K.D. argues that there was insufficient evidence to support termination of her parental rights. To the extent K.D. challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting findings of fact, we review such challenges under the clearly erroneous standard. See In re E.R., 2001 UT App 66,¶11, 21 P.3d 680; see also Utah R. Civ. P. 52(a). Moreover, "we defer to the juvenile court because of its advantaged position with respect to the parties and the witnesses in assessing credibility and personalities." In re S.L., 1999 UT App 390,¶20, 995 P.2d 17 (quotations and citations omitted). To the extent K.D. challenges the juvenile court's termination of her parental rights in light of the findings, we review the juvenile court's decision to terminate parental rights for correctness. See In re C.K., 2000 UT App 11,¶17, 996 P.2d 1059.
K.D. specifically argues that there is insufficient evidence to support termination because she did not understand the requirements of the service plan that was imposed upon her. K.D. fails to set forth any evidence to support this argument. The juvenile court made specific findings, on more than one occasion, that K.D. understood what she was supposed to do and that she refused to comply with the requirements of the plan. K.D. has failed to show that these findings are clearly erroneous.
K.D. also argues that there was insufficient evidence to support termination because the juvenile court based its decision to terminate solely upon a prior finding of neglect. This argument ignores the findings and conclusions of the juvenile court. The juvenile court determined that K.D.'s mental illness, unevaluated and untreated, made it unsafe to return H.D. to K.D. The juvenile court based its decision to terminate K.D.'s parental rights on her history of mental illness and her failure to comply with the court's service plan. K.D.'s parental rights were ultimately terminated on five separate grounds enumerated under Utah Code section 78-3a-407(1). See Utah Code Ann. § 78-3a-407(1)(b)-(f) (2002). K.D.'s argument that the decision to terminate was based solely on a prior finding of neglect is without merit.
The order of the juvenile court is affirmed.
Russell W. Bench,
Associate Presiding Judge
James Z. Davis, Judge
Gregory K. Orme, Judge