In re Child of Rebecca J.Annotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother's parental rights to her child, holding that Mother had a right to the effective assistance of counsel at the proceeding where she consented to the termination of her parental rights and that Mother received effective assistance when she voluntarily gave her consent.
At a hearing, Mother advised the court that she had decided to consent to a termination of her parental rights. Satisfied that Mother's decision was knowing and voluntary, the court ordered that Mother's parental rights be terminated. Mother later filed a motion for a new trial pursuant to Me. R. Civ. P. 59, arguing that her consent was involuntary and that she had received ineffective assistance of counsel in giving consent. The court denied Mother's request to set aside her consent. Mother also filed a Me. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6) motion for relief from the termination judgment based on counsel's alleged ineffective assistance. The court denied the motion. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the court did not clearly err in finding that Mother voluntarily consented to a termination of her parental rights or in denying the Rule 60(b)(6) motion for relief without holding a second evidentiary hearing.