Submitted On Briefs: February 26, 2018
J. Hainke, Esq., Hainke & Tash, Whitefield, for appellant
T. Mills, Attorney General, and Hunter C. Umphrey, Asst.
Atty. Gen., Office of the Attorney General, Augusta, for
appellee Department of Health and Human Services.
ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and HUMPHREY, JJ.
Daniel Q. appeals from a judgment of the District Court
(Skowhegan, Fowle, J.) terminating his parental
rights to his child pursuant to 22 M.R.S.
§4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(i), (iv)
(2017). After reviewing the record, we conclude
that the evidence supports the court's finding of
parental unfitness. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment.
Based on competent evidence in the record, the court found by
clear and convincing evidence that the father (1) is
unwilling or unable to protect the child from jeopardy within
a time reasonably calculated to meet his needs, and (2)
failed to make a good faith effort to rehabilitate and
reunify with him. See 22 M.R.S. §
4O55(1)(B)(2)(b)(i), (iv). "We review the factual
findings supporting the unfitness determination for clear
error, " In re Zahanna C, 2018 ME 11, ¶ 2,
__A.3d __, and "will reverse a finding only if there is
no competent evidence in the record to support it, if the
fact-finder clearly misapprehends the meaning of the
evidence, or if the finding is so contrary to the credible
evidence that it does not represent the truth and right of
the case, " In re Zianna G., 2017 ME 226,
¶ 2, 174 A.3d 889 (quotation marks omitted). "The
weight and credibility of the testimony and other evidence
are for the fact-finder's determination."
Id. (alteration and quotation marks omitted).
The court based its determination on the following findings
In the case of [the child], his entire life has been in the
care of persons other than his parents. The father has made
relatively little progress in achieving the skills needed to
parent [the child]. He has achieved little to no insight as
to the root of his problems with women, and relationships. He
appears to blame all of his difficulties on the women he has
been married to. He pleaded guilty to one domestic violence
assault, and was found guilty of another. He was convicted of
violating a protective order, and has had three protective
orders lodged against him. The father is convinced that none
of this is his fault, and that his only responsibility is to
not... engage in relationships with women who will victimize
The father has little to no ability to support [the child].
He is not able to provide [the child] with safe, stable
housing, and other than learning to access social service
agency resources, he has made little progress toward that
end. It is hard to avoid the conclusion by clear and
convincing evidence that... the father is unwilling or unable
to protect the child from jeopardy, and these circumstances
are unlikely to change within a time which is reasonably
calculated to meet the child's needs; and that the father
has failed to make a good faith effort to rehabilitate and
reunify with the child .... The Department has devoted
considerable resources in their effort to achieve
reunification between the father and [the child]. The father
has not reciprocated by making any genuine or sustained
[The child] will be eighteen months old by the end of this
month. He is in one of the most critical developmental stages
of his life Even if one assumes that the father is prepared
to engage in a serious and sustained effort toward
reunification (a dubious assumption based upon his lack of
insight and lack of effort up until now) . . . [the child]
simply does not have that much time to wait, and our
jurisprudence strongly suggests that he should not have to
wait that long.
Given these findings, all of which are supported by competent
evidence in the record, the court did not err in its
determination of unfitness. See In re Zarianna C,
2018 ME 11, ¶ 2, __A.3d__; In re Zianna G.,
2017 ME 226, ¶2, 174A.3d889.
entry is: ...