Bergsing v. CardonaAnnotate this Case
Mother filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of Father, who was incarcerated. Mother’s petition relied on Father’s alleged abandonment of the parties’ child and failure to support the child. After Father, who was unrepresented, was served he attempted to comply with the summons but failed to answer the petition in a timely manner. The district court entered a default judgment terminating Father’s parental rights based solely on his failure to answer the petition. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court incorrectly applied the law when it terminated Father’s parental rights without an accompanying petition for adoption and by a default judgment with no hearing, no evidence, and no findings.