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In re Keegan M.

Supreme Court of Maine

October 5, 2017

IN RE KEEGAN M.

          Submitted On Briefs: September 27, 2017

          Justin W. Andrus, Esq., and Lynn J. Madison, Esq., Andrus Law, LLC, Brunswick, for appellant father.

          Julian Richter, Esq., Richter Law, LLC, Gardiner, for appellant mother.

          Janet T. Mills, Attorney General, and Meghan Szylvian, Asst. Atty. Gen., Office of the Attorney General, Augusta, for appellee Department of Health and Human Services.

          Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HUMPHREY, JJ.

          PER CURIAM.

         [¶1] The parents of Keegan M. appeal from a judgment of the District Court (West Bath, Mathews, J.) terminating their parental rights to the child pursuant to 22 M.R.S. § 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i), (b)(ii) (2016). The father challenges the courts factual findings in general, [1] and the mother argues that the Department did not provide the services necessary for her to reunify with the child. Because the evidence supports the courts findings and discretionary determinations, we affirm the judgment.

         [¶2] Based on competent evidence in the record, the court found, by clear and convincing evidence, that the parents were unwilling or unable to protect Keegan from jeopardy within a time reasonably calculated to meet his needs and were unable to take responsibility for him within a time reasonably calculated to meet his needs, and that termination of each parents parental rights was in Keegans best interest. See id.; In re Caleb M., 2017 ME 66, ¶ 27, 159 A.3d 345. The court based this determination on the following findings of fact.

         [¶3] After the jeopardy court (Field, J.) found, in July 2015, that Keegan was in jeopardy due to "unsanitary, unsafe, and unstable living conditions, and lack of supervision, " the parents reunification plans required that they participate in numerous services including psychological evaluations, case management, medication management, and counseling, and that they obtain "safe and stable housing."

         [¶4] By the time of the termination hearing, Keegan, then six years old, showed signs of significant recovery from the serious harm he had suffered while in the care of his parents. Regarding the parents participation in and compliance with the reunification plan, the termination court found as follows:

Until fall of 2016 [the mother] failed to obtain any counseling, case management services or consistent med management.
[The mother] places the blame for her failed performance as it relates to therapy, med management and case management on the Department. The evidence record indicates otherwise....The Court does not find [the mother]s explanation for her failure to comply with the Departments recommendations as credible.
. . . [The father] has not to date participated in any case management, med management or counseling. The Department repeatedly requested [the father] to seek the services at family team meeting and court ...

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