In re Haley D.Annotate this Case
The baby was exposed to cocaine in utero; the state took the child into protective custody and filed a petition pursuant to 705 ILCS 405/2-13. The petition did not seek termination of parental rights. Mother was personally served; abode service was made on father by leaving the summons and petition with his mother at the house they shared. The circuit court made the baby a ward of the court. By the time of the permanency hearing, mother's whereabouts were unknown. Although father did not comply with all aspects of the service plan, the court continued to set return to the family as the permanency goal. When the baby was about 18 months old, the court allowed foster parents to intervene and the state to begin termination proceedings and subsequently entered a default judgment against father. The appellate court reversed because the state had made no attempt to serve father. The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. The court noted many procedural defects and that father had made progress in meeting goals during nine months following the adjudication of neglect. Because he was not found to be deficient until after that period, the petition for termination was untenable as a matter of law.