DHW v. Jane DoeAnnotate this Case
Jane Doe (Mother) executed a voluntary consent to terminate her parental rights to Son. Mother shortly thereafter filed a motion to rescind her consent. The magistrate court denied the motion. Termination proceedings were then conducted without Mother, her counsel, or a guardian ad litem for Mother being present. Following the hearing, Mother’s parental rights were terminated. Mother appealed the termination of her parental rights. The Idaho Supreme Court determined the magistrate court erred in failing to appoint a replacement guardian ad litem for Mother. "At the time Mother executed the waiver, there was still an outstanding question, recognized but not addressed by the magistrate court, as to Mother’s need for a guardian ad litem. This outstanding question hinged upon the results of Mother’s psychological evaluations, but was never answered despite the availability of these results. It is clear that Mother suffered from significant mental illness. ...However, having identified the earlier need for a guardian ad litem and the continuing need to have a guardian ad litem absent receiving evidence to the contrary, a replacement guardian was never appointed. There is substantial and competent evidence strongly indicating Mother’s ongoing need for a guardian ad litem." The termination was vacated and the matter remanded to the magistrate court for further proceedings.