In re Involuntary Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of I.P.Annotate this Case
The County Department of Child Services filed a petition to involuntarily terminate the parental rights of Father to his child. At the conclusion of the termination hearing, the magistrate that presided over the hearing resigned her position before reporting recommended factual findings and conclusions to Judge Marilyn Moores. The case was subsequently transferred to Magistrate Larry Bradley, who reviewed the hearing record and reported recommended findings and conclusions without holding a new evidentiary hearing. Judge Moores approved the findings and conclusions and terminated Father’s parental rights. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that where a case is tried to a judge who resigns before determining the issues, a successor judge cannot decide the issues or enter findings without a trial de novo. Remanded.