On Briefs: September 10, 2019
Jeffrey S. Dolley, Esq., Lewiston, for appellant mother
Richard Charest, Esq., Lewiston, for appellant father
M. Frey, Attorney General, and Zack Paakkonen, Asst. Atty.
Gen., Office of the Attorney General, Augusta, for appellee
Department of Health and Human Services
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HJELM,
Kimberly K. appeals from a judgment of the District Court
(Lewiston, Martin, J. ) terminating her parental
rights to her child, as does the childs father. The father
challenges the sufficiency of the evidence with respect to
the courts determination that he is unfit within the meaning
of 22 M.R.S. § 4055(1)(B)(2)(b)(i), (ii), (iv) (2018), and
both parents contend that the court erred by determining that
the termination of their parental rights is in the childs
best interest, see 22 M.R.S. § 4055(1)(B)(2)(a)
(2018). We affirm the judgment.
The following facts, which are supported by the evidence, are
drawn from the courts judgment and the procedural record.
See In re Children of Nicole M., 2018 ME
75, ¶ 2, 187 A.3d 1. On December 7, 2016, the Department of
Health and Human Services filed a petition for a child
protection order as to both parents, alleging that the mother
had an untreated substance use disorder, was homeless, and
was leaving the child alone for long periods of time with
people who are not well-known to the child and are not
considered by the Department to be safe caregivers.
See 22 M.R.S. § 4032 (2018). The petition further
alleged that the father was unable to care for the child
because he was incarcerated.
On April 11, 2017, the court entered an agreed-to jeopardy
order, granting custody to the Department and maintaining the
childs placement with his paternal grandmother. See
22 M.R.S. § 4035 (2018). The court entered agreed-to judicial
review and permanency planning orders on August 17, 2017
(Beliveau, J. ); January 11, 2018 (Dow, J.
); April 12, 2018 (Beliveau, J. ); August 16, 2018
(Ham-Thompson, J. ); and December 13, 2018 (Dow,
J. ), maintaining custody of the child with the
Meanwhile, in October 2018, the Department filed a petition
for the termination of both parents rights to their child.
See 22 M.R.S. § 4052 (2018). Following a hearing
held on the petition, see 22 M.R.S. § 4054 (2018),
the court entered a judgment granting the petition to
terminate the parents rights. The court based its decision
on the following findings of fact, all of which are supported
by competent evidence in the record. See In re
Child of Domenick B., 2018 ME 158, ¶ 5, 197 A.3d 1076.
[The mothers] drug use is longstanding and significant.
Her drug[s] of choice [have] been cocaine and suboxone. She
has lived with her ex-boyfriends mother for the last year.
Her drug abuse has landed her in jail on several occasions
and she is now facing her third probation violation, ...