In re Parental Rights as to A.D.L.Annotate this Case
A parent cannot be compelled to admit to a criminal act in order to maintain his or her parental rights.
Appellant was required to admit to a crime for her to be considered in compliance with her case plan. The district court eventually terminated Appellant’s parental rights. On appeal, Appellant argued that terminating her parental rights on the sole basis that she refused to admit that she intentionally harmed her child violated her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The Supreme Court agreed and reversed, holding (1) the district court’s termination of Appellant’s parental rights constituted a violation of her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination; and (2) there was not substantial evidence supporting the district court’s findings of parental fault and that termination of Appellant’s parental rights was in the best interests of her children.