State of Utah, in the interest of T.P.

Annotate this Case
State of Utah, in the interest of T.P., a person under eighteen years of age., Case No. 20000968-CA, Filed March 8, 2001 IN THE UTAH COURT OF APPEALS


State of Utah, in the interest of T.P.,
a person under eighteen years of age.



State of Utah,

(Not For Official Publication)

Case No. 20000968-CA

March 8, 2001 2001 UT App 72 -----

Third District Juvenile, Salt Lake Department
The Honorable Frederic M. Oddone

John E. Laherty, Salt Lake City, for Appellant
Mark L. Shurtleff and Carol L. Verdoia, Salt Lake City, for Appellee
Martha Pierce, Salt Lake City, Guardian Ad Litem -----

Before Judges Jackson, Bench, and Davis


Under the plain language of Utah Code Ann. § 78-3a-407 (1996), a juvenile court may terminate all parental rights if it finds any one of the grounds enumerated therein. See In re M.E.C., 942 P.2d 955, 959 (Utah Ct. App. 1997). J.P.'s parental rights were terminated for four reasons: 1) neglect; 2) unfitness or incompetence; 3) unwillingness or inability to remedy the problems leading to the out of home placement; and 4) failure of parental adjustment. See Utah Code Annotated § 78-3a-407(2) to -407(5) (1996).

The evidence supports the trial court's decision to terminate J.P.'s parental rights. J.P. suffers from mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and paranoia. Her misconceptions about child care and development further hamper her ability to parent. J.P. was offered two service plans and counseling, but she did not avail herself of either. Moreover, J.P. has a history of unemployment, homelessness, and inability to care for her children.

As this court noted in In re C.Y., 765 P.2d 251 (Utah Ct. App. 1988), "[i]f after a reasonable period of time, no positive change in parenting skills occur[s], a termination of parental rights is appropriate. Children cannot remain in limbo indefinitely where there is no reasonable likelihood of their parents gaining necessary parenting abilities." Id. at 255-56.

The trial court's decision to terminate J.P.'s parental rights is supported by clear and convincing evidence. See Utah Code Ann. § 78-3a-406(3) (1996). Accordingly, the order of termination is affirmed.

Norman H. Jackson,
Associate Presiding Judge

Russell W. Bench, Judge

James Z. Davis, Judge