The People of the State of Colorado, Petitioner-Appellee, In the Interest of I.J.O., a Child, and Concerning M.S.O., Respondent-Appellant.
County District Court No. 17JV408 Honorable Katherine R.
M. Miller, County Attorney, Julie Thomerson, Assistant County
Attorney, Westminster, Colorado, for Petitioner-Appellee
Bradburn, Guardian Ad Litem James West, Office of Respondent
Parents' Counsel, Longmont, Colorado, for
1 M.S.O. (mother) appeals the juvenile court's judgment
terminating the parent-child legal relationship between her
and I.J.O. (the child). Mother - who upon the commencement of
and throughout the juvenile court proceedings was the
child's noncustodial natural parent and lived out of
state - frames the issue as whether the court erred by
applying the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children
(ICPC) to the potential placement of the child with mother.
But the substance of her argument is that the juvenile court
erred by permitting the Adams County Human Services
Department to absolve itself of the obligation to exercise
reasonable efforts to rehabilitate mother and to reunify the
family solely because mother failed the ICPC home visit.
2 The division, on its own motion, having considered the
parties' briefs, remands the case to the juvenile court
for the limited purpose of allowing the court to clarify its
findings supporting termination of mother's parental
3 In December 2017, the Department filed a petition in
dependency and neglect regarding the eight-year-old child.
The Department alleged that the child's father was
unstable and that he was planning to take the child back to
Ohio to live with mother. The Department also alleged that
"[t]his family has [an] extensive child welfare history
in Ohio including a removal from [both mother and
4 The juvenile court adjudicated the child dependent and
neglected. The court adopted a treatment plan for mother,
requiring that she maintain contact with the Department and
provide necessary releases, engage in initial treatment
assessment and planning, abide by any resulting treatment
plan, submit a hair follicle test to determine whether she
had used controlled substances, and cooperate with an ICPC
home study. The plan also called for mother to have regular
telephone contact with the child, although the juvenile court
later suspended these calls because they were traumatic and
dysregulating for the child.
5 In July 2018, the Department moved to terminate
mother's parental rights. In January 2019, following a
hearing, the juvenile court granted the Department's
motion, terminating mother's parental
Standard of Review
6 We review de novo issues of law, including whether the
juvenile court applied the correct legal standard. People
in Interest of A.J.L., 243 P.3d 244, 249 (Colo. 2010).
We review the juvenile court's factual findings for clear
error. Id. The credibility of the witnesses; the
sufficiency, probative effect, and weight of the evidence;
and the inferences and conclusions to be drawn from it are
within the court's discretion. People in Interest of
C.A.K., 652 P.2d 603, 613 (Colo. 1982). Thus, we will
not disturb the court's findings and conclusions if they
have record support. Id.